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DeLeon to play softball for William Penn
• CHS senior will contribute at pitcher and third base
Rebecca DeLeon
Ceres High senior Rebecca DeLeon earned a scholarship to William Penn University. The NAIA Division-I college is located in Iowa. - photo by DALE BUTLER/ Courier file photo

Rebecca DeLeon verbally committed to William Penn University softball in November.

The Ceres High senior will finalize her college plans this month when she signs a national letter of intent with the NAIA Division-I four-year school.

“It’s a huge relief knowing I have my education paid for and I get to continue to play the game I love. It’s a dream come true.”
Rebecca DeLeon

“It’s a huge relief knowing I have my education paid for and I get to continue to play the game I love,” DeLeon said. “It’s a dream come true.”

DeLeon drew interest from William Penn while playing for the Westside Bullets 18-and-under travel softball team at a tournament in Rocklin during the summertime.

“I didn’t know the recruiter was there,” she said. “Pitching-wise, I did really well. I had a lot of RBIs on offense.”

DeLeon visited William Penn in November.

She toured the campus and met future teammates in Iowa.

“I definitely want to experience something different and be more independent,” DeLeon said. “College is the perfect time to go out of state. When I looked at the school, the more I liked it. When I visited, it felt very homey. Everyone was super friendly. It seemed like everybody knew each other.”

DeLeon will pitch and play third base for the Statesmen, who compiled an 8-11 record during their shortened season this spring.

William Penn won eight of its final 10 games.

The Statesmen compete in the Heart of America Athletic Conference.

DeLeon will major in business or sociology at William Penn.

She wants to become a family therapist.

DeLeon has a cumulative GPA of 3.5 at Ceres High.

“I set higher expectations for myself in school so I could play softball in college,” she said. “Sports helped me keep my grades up. I didn’t slack off.”

DeLeon played four seasons of varsity softball at Ceres High.

She batted .305 (68-for-223) from the plate with four homers, one triple, 46 runs and 51 RBIs in 75 career games.

DeLeon compiled a 9-14 record at pitcher with a 3.47 ERA, 80 strikeouts and 39 walks.

She hit .348 with one triple, four doubles, eight RBIs and nine runs this year.

DeLeon had a 3-1 record inside the circle with a 1.40 ERA and 16 strikeouts in 15 innings.

“I’m glad how my four years went even though senior year didn’t end like I hoped it would,” said DeLeon, who along with her Bulldog teammates, didn’t get to defend their Western Athletic Conference title as the season was canceled due to coronavirus pandemic.

DeLeon played softball for the first time at the age of 10.

She started taking the sport serious at the age of 14.

“There were times when I wanted to quit because it’s very stressful and you feel like you lose out on other teenage experiences,” DeLeon said. “I’m blessed to be able to keep playing for four more years. It’s been my dream since I was little.”