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Atwater softball star makes her college choice official. Where will Falcons ace land?

Atwater’s Megan Escobar

Atwater High senior Megan Escobar talks about signing her national letter of intent to accept a softball scholarship with UC Santa Barbara. Escobar was joined by family, friends, teammates and coaches at the Atwater softball diamond.
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Atwater High senior Megan Escobar talks about signing her national letter of intent to accept a softball scholarship with UC Santa Barbara. Escobar was joined by family, friends, teammates and coaches at the Atwater softball diamond.

Megan Escobar insists she’s not a person who cries easily. It’s even worse when she cries in front of other people.

However, the Atwater High senior lost the battle with her emotions as the tried to fight back tears while speaking in front of her family, friends, teammates and coaches on Thursday afternoon. Escobar just had too much to be thankful for on a day where one of her life long dreams became a reality.

Escobar is headed to her dream school in UC Santa Barbara to play softball. The Falcons ace made her college choice official when she signed her national letter of intent during a ceremony held on Atwater High softball diamond.

“I finally did it,” Escobar said. “I love that my family is here. My friends and teammates are here. It feels so good.”

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Atwater High senior Megan Escobar (sitting, middle) poses for photos with her softball teammates after signing her national letter of intent to accept a softball scholarship to UC Santa Barbara on Thursday, May 9, 2019 at Atwater High. Shawn Jansen Merced Sun-Star

Escobar had to wipe away tears as many of her friends, coaches and family stepped up to the podium to congratulate her. Many of her friends talked about how they look up to her because of her dedication and work ethic. Others talked about how they are jealous of her hair.

When it came time for Escobar to take the podium, the tears started flowing and her voice chokes up as she tried to thank her parents.

“I’m not usually a crier,” she said. “But as soon as I see someone else. I got a little emotional. I get nervous speaking in front of people. I had a speech prepared but I left it in my bag. I still knew what I wanted to say, but once I got up there it was tough.”

Atwater coach Jenna Boesch says UC Santa Barbara is getting a special player and person in Escobar.

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Atwater High senior Megan Escobar signs her national letter of intent to UC Santa Barbara while her family looks on. From left to right: father, Brian, brother, Austin, aunt Dawn Valenta and mother Kori. Shawn Jansen Merced Sun-Star

“I don’t know the coaches at Santa Barbara, but I can assume they are getting everything they want in a player in terms of dedication, academics, competition and just an all-around good athlete. She has no attitude. She’s someone who is willing to help with whatever the team needs.”

Escobar has been the Falcons top pitcher the last two seasons. The right-hander is 12-5 with a 1.29 ERA this season to help Atwater reach the playoffs. She was 12-2 last season with a 1.57 ERA.

Escobar can also swing the bat and play infield. She started at shortstop her first two years on varsity. She hit .446 this season.

She does well in the classroom, compiling a 4.09 GPA and also played volleyball and is a member of Future Farmers of America all four years of high school.

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Atwater High senior Megan Escobar is headed to UC Santa Barbara to play softball. Shawn Jansen Merced Sun-Star

Escobar just recently won a State Nationals Marketing Team championship and she shows goats as the Merced County Fair.

“I’ve met a lot of awesome people through FFA,” Escobar said. “It’s definitely brought me out of my comfort zone. It’s taught me responsibility from taking care of animals. I want to be an ag teacher so it’s helped me find a career.”

With all her activities, Escobar has learned to manage her time. She’ll often have to meet with her FFA team members after softball practice or games.

“She knows when she can do her stuff,” Boesch said. “I have her as a (teacher’s assistant) in first period and I’ve seen that side of her. She uses her time wisely. She’s sit in the corner of the classroom and work on her homework.”

Santa Barbara was high on her list of schools from the beginning.

“I’ve always wanted to live near the beach since I was little,” Escobar said. “I love the atmosphere there. I love the coaches as well. They are great people. I’ve also wanted to be a part of a university known for academics as well. Santa Barbara is just a good fit for me.”

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