Elliott to play college softball

M-CHS senior commits to Garden City Community College (Kan.)

Miranda Elliott signs her National Letter of Intent to play softball next season at Garden City (Kan.) Community College on Thursday morning at Montezuma-Cortez High School. Also sitting are M-CHS assistant activities director Stacey Hall and M-CHS softball coach Heath Elliott, who is Miranda's father. M-CHS principal Jason Wayman stands. Enlargephoto

Sam Green/Cortez Journal

Miranda Elliott signs her National Letter of Intent to play softball next season at Garden City (Kan.) Community College on Thursday morning at Montezuma-Cortez High School. Also sitting are M-CHS assistant activities director Stacey Hall and M-CHS softball coach Heath Elliott, who is Miranda's father. M-CHS principal Jason Wayman stands.

Miranda Elliott steadily got better every year on the softball diamond at Montezuma-Cortez High School.

Now the senior will see how her game progresses at the next level.

Elliott signed a National Letter of Intent to play softball next season at Garden City Community College in Kansas.

"With a four-year college, you'll sit probably the first two years," she said. "With this, I can go ahead and play and be part of a team. That's what I was really looking forward to."

The message was simple from her father and M-CHS softball coach Heath Elliott - work hard. It's something coach Elliott demands from all his players and his starting catcher is a prime example of hard work and dedication.

"I think it's great for her. She's wanted to play college ball since she was in T-ball," Heath Elliott said. "She's worked hard at it her entire career. She has set the mark for her team and the (Southwestern) league. I think this is a great opportunity for her."

Miranda, or Randy, as many people call her, was a two-time first-team Southwestern League All-Conference selection at catcher. The three-year team captain batted a scorching .486 during the 2012 season and helped lead her team to the playoffs her sophomore year.

Elliott was a three-star athlete at M-CHS and also captained the Lady Panthers basketball team this past season.

The ever-so-active Elliott will even participate on the rifle shooting team at GCCC. Broncbusters softball coach Beth Holland made Elliott feel at home in Garden City, Kan., which was crucial in Elliott's decision.

"When I got there, they just met with us right away," she said. "We sat down and talked. I met all the other girls from the team. Me, the coaches and my mom went and had lunch and just talked awhile. I just felt like I was really comfortable there."

Elliott will be able to compete for a starting spot right away. The M-CHS standout catcher played multiple positions for the Lady Panthers, so Elliott should be able to fit right in at GCCC.

"They need players that can just play anywhere," she said. "When I tried out, I did the catcher's position, I batted, I did all the fielding things."

Elliott will major in criminal justice, and transfer to a four-year college where she hopes to continue playing softball and get a bachelors degree in criminal justice.

Elliott aspires to become a police detective here in Montezuma County.

"I chose this school because it's offering what I want to do in criminal justice," she said. "Throughout the other schools I looked at, the program didn't really stick out. But this one did."

Randy is the daughter of Heath and Melissa Elliott.

bobbya@cortezjournal.com.