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Local Softball Standouts Vanessa Brink & Emma Almodoba Commit to Embry Riddle

Vanessa Brink (ERAU Graphic)

Ironwood Ridge senior outfielder Emma Almodoba and Empire senior pitcher Vanessa Brink committed to play for Embry Riddle earlier today.

Almodoba batted .394 with four RBI and four triples last spring before the season was cancelled. The Nighthawks were 8-2 at that point and considered the favorites to win the 5A state championship after winning it all the year before. Almodoba has a .485 career batting average including an incredible .556 average during the championship season.

Brink was 6-2 from the circle last spring, helping the Ravens to an 11-2-1 record before the season was stopped in early March. Playing up in the 5A Conference in 2019, Brink helped send Ironwood Ridge to the Elimination Bracket before finishing in the semifinal round. She went 17-4 that year with 162 strikeouts. Brink is 28-10 in her career with a 1.74 ERA and 308 strikeouts in 221 innings pitched.

Ironwood Ridge junior Katie Jamieson committed to play for the Eagles last week.

Embry Riddle is an NAIA program located in Prescott and there are currently six athletes from the Tucson area on its roster: Danielle Jamieson (Sahuaro), Aleena Alexander (Salpointe), Haley Basye (Canyon del Oro), Shaylee Sanders (Flowing Wells), Diana Miranda Montano (Salpointe) and Maddie Judge (Ironwood Ridge).

Emma Almodoba (ERAU Graphic)

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Andy Morales was recognized by the AIA as the top high school reporter in 2014, he was awarded the Ray McNally Award in 2017, a 2019 AZ Education News award winner and he has been a youth, high school and college coach for over 30 years. He was the first in Arizona to write about high school beach volleyball and high school girls wrestling. His own children have won multiple state high school championships and were named to all-state teams. Competing in hockey, basketball, baseball and track & field in high school, his unique perspective can only be found here and on AZPreps365.com. Andy is the Southern Arizona voting member of the Ed Doherty Award, recognizing the top football player in Arizona, and he was named a Local Hero by the Tucson Weekly for 2016. Andy was named an Honorary Flowing Wells Caballero in 2019 and he is a member of the Amphi COVID-19 Blue Ribbon Committee. Contact Andy Morales at amoralesmytucson@yahoo.com

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