BIDWELL, Ohio — You reap what you sow.
River Valley senior Cierra Roberts fulfilled a lifelong dream on Monday, March 25, when she agreed to extend her softball career at Ohio University Chillicothe during a signing ceremony held inside the lobby at RVHS.
Roberts — a four-year softball letterwinner — has been a three-year starter and two-time all-district selection during her diamond career in the Silver and Black, which also includes an All-TVC Ohio second-team selection during her sophomore campaign.
Roberts has been the primary shortstop for the Lady Raiders the last few years and has a career fielding percentage of .981 through her first three varsity seasons.
Before entering her senior season, Roberts owned a .359 batting average, 66 hits and 23 RBIs while also scoring a total of 42 runs. Roberts had also produced 11 doubles, four triples and 14 stolen bases while earning 17 walks.
Roberts — who also has multiple seasons as a starter in both volleyball and basketball — has always taken a pride in the game of softball, and having an opportunity to continue on in her favorite sport at the collegiate level is something that she has long been waiting for.
So when the opportunity presented itself, Roberts was very eager to become a member of the Lady Hilltoppers … for a variety of reasons.
“I am very grateful to get the chance to continue my career after all the years of playing and the work that I have put into this sport. It is truly an honor to continue doing what I love at the next level,” Roberts said. “OUC was a good choice for me due to the area. I love Chillicothe and I really enjoy the small campus. I wanted to stay away from a big campus and stay close to home … and this was a perfect option.”
OUC is a member of the Ohio Regional Campus Conference and plays against the likes of other Ohio University regional outlets, as well as similar outlets for Akron, Cincinnati, Kent State, Miami and Ohio State.
OU Chillicothe is also a commuter-based school that offers two-year associate degrees and four-year baccalaureate degrees. It is the oldest regional branch of Ohio University in the state.
It might not be anything relatively close to the glitz and glamour of a Division I program, but RVHS softball coach Nick Roberts says that competing at the collegiate level is something truly special in itself.
He also believes that Cierra is more than ready for the task ahead of her — both athletically and academically.
“She’s a solid ball player and a great student … and definitely a hard worker,” Coach Roberts said. “She’s put in the work to get where she’s going, and anytime you have a player make it to the next level … you’re excited for that student-athlete. It’s good for something like this to come from our program and we at River Valley are very excited for Cierra to get this opportunity.”
Cierra also feels ready for the next challenge, given all of the preparation that has gone into her softball career up until now.
“I feel very prepared for college. I have played with and against some of my future teammates,” Roberts said. “And since I have also played elite travel ball throughout high school, I feel my experience and number of higher level games have helped prepare me for the next level.”
Cierra plans to major in Nursing and currently carries a 4.5 weighted grade-point average at River Valley.
Cierra is the daughter of Nakuma and Chasity Roberts of Bidwell.
Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.