GIRARD — Girard’s Maleah Sandy fulfilled a lifelong dream on Monday inside Girard High School when she signed a letter of intent to play softball at Hesston College.

All of the hard work and dedication from the Trojans’ second baseman paid off when she put pen to paper.

“I’m really excited,” Sandy said. “Playing collegiate softball is something I’ve really wanted to do ever since I can remember, so this is a dream come true.”

Sandy said she was sold on the small, private school when she made the three-hour road trip to see it for herself.

“When I first met the coach, I could tell he was a really good guy,” Sandy said. “When I went on the visit, we went through a workout and it was just really fun. The people I met were amazing and it just felt like home. I love it.”

In her first season with the Larks, Sandy hopes to have a chance to start at second base and begin producing immediately.

“I would really like to become apart of the softball family there and just really get to know the girls well,” Sandy said. “Hopefully, we’ll have some success in the next few years.”

With one last season in Girard before moving on Sandy said she hopes they will repeat as state champs.

“I really hope we can win another state championship like we did last year,” she said. “To do that, we just need to bond really well and stay together like a family as we have been doing. We’ve just always been best friends.”

Despite joining the Lady Trojans late in her high school career, Sandy made a big impact in the limited time.

“Maleah was a Girard kid for a while until she moved away, but when she moved back, I was thrilled to death,” GHS head softball coach Jim Vinze said. “I saw a lot of potential from her when she was young, and she was able to come in and earn a position at second base. She also became a great outfielder, so it was the best of both worlds.”

Sandy said playing in Girard has meant a lot to her and looks forward to one more season as a Lady Trojan.

“My coaches and teammates really mean a lot to me,” she said. “Coach Vinze has only had me for about a year since I moved here, but I’ve played with these girls from the beginning. They’re my family and they mean everything to me. They’re really great people.”

Although Vinze hasn’t had Sandy on the roster for long, he said it was quickly apparent her future is bright.

“I think she’ll be a really nice player for Hesston,” Vinze said. “She’s one of those kids who is super easy to coach. She’s really hard on herself — not to a point where it’s detrimental — but she just wants to help and please her team as much as possible, so I think she’ll make a huge impact in that program.”

 — Jordan Buckamneer is the sports editor of the Pittsburg Morning Sun. E-mail him at jbuckamneer@morningsun.net and follow him on Twitter @jbuckamneer.