The number three (3) seems to be significant for Taylor Doane and Rachel Timberman.
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The former Ponderosa High softball players ended their three-year varsity careers three months ago at the Sacramento Softball Complex in a first-round loss to Roseville in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division I playoffs.
Next week, Doane and Timberman, both of whom graduated … wait for it … almost three months ago begin new chapters in their academic and softball lives.
Doane packs her backs for the move to Chico State while Timberman make the East Coast her new home, as she’ll attend Lehigh University in Bethlehelm, Pa. Both will be on scholarship and start the fall semester at their respective colleges a week from Monday.
While playing for the Foothill Gold 18U traveling softball team, Doane was spotted by Chico State’s softball coaching staff at a Southern California tournament almost three months ago.
“They wanted me to verbal, so I did,” Doane said. “It happened so fast.”
Last summer, Timberman, who played for the Silverstreak 18U travel squad, was also showcased at a camp in Southern California before numerous colleges.
“Lehigh had contacted me after the camp,” recalled Timberman. “I stayed in contact with them, and they followed me throughout the summer. I visited them (last) fall.”
The dynamic softball duo are staying focused on their new adventures.
“Knowing I have to pack up and leave (next week) is very stressful and scary,” said Doane who is considering a major in criminal justice.
Timberman, who is thinking about majoring in the medical field, joked, “I’m still not ready to go. The fact that I’m leaving has not set in yet.”
Ponderosa, which went 6-4 in the Delta River League for third place and 14-7-1 overall, will miss the strengths of Doane and Timberman who were dangerous on both sides of the ball.
Doane, who started in centerfield, batted .348 that ranked her in the team’s top five batters. She led the Bruins with 17 RBIs. On the field, Doane had a .935 fielding percentage with only two errors.
Timberman batted .423, and led the team in runs scored with 20 and stolen bases with 13. The shortstop drove in 12 runs and had a .932 fielding percentage.
The duo, as sophomores, were part of the 2012 Ponderosa squad that won the Delta River League title and played league rival Sheldon the section’s D-I title game.
“That was the most free-spirited season I’ve ever had,” said Timberman of the ’12 team. “Everything just came together. I thought it was wonderful.”
Doane added, “Us (winning the league title and playing for section crown) our sophomore year was a huge thing. Doing that was just good.”
Beating Sheldon twice in ’12 was great for Doane and Timberman.
“Beating them was huge,” Timberman said.
After the 2013 team fell short of earning a second consecutive playoff berth, Doane and Timberman led the way for Ponderosa in clinching the league’s third playoff berth this past season.
Another joy they experienced this past season was defeating intra-county and league rival Oak Ridge, 13-3, on the Trojans’ field toward the end of April. That victory gave Ponderosa a playoff berth and ended Oak Ridge’s bid.
“Beating Oak Ridge was a huge thing, not only for us but for our school,” Doane said. “When your team beats Oak Ridge, it’s a huge deal for our school.”
As they prepare to go their separate ways, the two will remain in touch through cell phones and Social Media — quite possibly reminiscing about the mark they’ve left on Bruin softball.
Contact Mike Bush at 530-344-5079 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @MBushMtDemo on Twitter.