GLENDALE — That’s one less difficult decision that Lainey De Pompa will have to make concerning her future.
The star senior Crescenta Valley High softball catcher didn’t waste any time choosing where she’ll attend college in 2008.
De Pompa, who helped Crescenta Valley gain a share of the Pacific League championship this season, will attend UC Santa Barbara. De Pompa, who batted .345 and finished with a .994 fielding percentage last spring, reached her decision in late-July after visiting the campus that sprawls alongside the Pacific Ocean.
“It’s a good program, and the campus isn’t that far away from home,” said De Pompa, who had seven doubles and drove in 20 runs en route to being named to the league’s first team. “I really liked the area, and I think they’ll have a good coaching staff for a long time.
“I’m very relieved that I made the decision. It’s very exciting and nerve-wracking at the same time. It’s a beautiful campus and in a perfect location.”
De Pompa said she also considered attending Iowa, Kentucky, Wagner, Michigan State, Sacramento State and Illinois-Chicago.
De Pompa has been a model of consistency behind the plate for the Falcons, who advanced to the second round of the CIF Southern Section Division III playoffs after clinching a piece of the league crown with rival Arcadia on the last day of the regular season.
Her presence in the lineup, which featured Ashleigh Viers-Gordillo and Baille Kirker, made it difficult for opposing pitchers.
“You play your whole life for this,” said De Pompa, who is one of Crescenta Valley’s captains. “You play your heart out and do whatever it takes for us to win.”
Crescenta Valley Coach Dan Berry, who led the Falcons to at least a share of nine league championships since 1998, said De Pompa will fit in at UCSB after proving her value with Crescenta Valley.
“It’s going to be a great thing for her,” Berry said. “It’s a good program that’s in a good conference, plus she’ll be pretty close to home.
“Now she can breathe easier and just be a kid.”
The Gauchos will have a new coach next season.
Brie Galicinao, the top assistant coach to Kristy Schroeder for the past two years, was named the program’s new coach in June. Schroeder, who had piloted the program the past six years, resigned in May after her husband took a job at University of Pacific.
UC Santa Barbara went 30-23 and 7-11 in the Big West Conference this season. It advanced to the second round of the Los Angeles Regional of the NCAA Division I Championships before dropping a 5-3 decision to Loyola Marymount University.