Providence standout shortstop Stephens heads to Texas Lutheran

Before too long, the Stephens’ family caravan will be headed to Seguin.

That will be Providence senior shortstop Izzie Stephens’ college destination. Her parents and grandparents are sure to follow.

The two-time second-team TAPPS Division II all-state selection has signed a letter of intent to attend Texas Lutheran University. Stephens, who signed the letter of intent March 23, admitted that choosing a college that was within driving distance was a priority.

“They’ve honestly been a big part of things,” Stephens said. “They’ve been taking me to camps, even select camps, since elementary school. I’ve always felt really supported.

“Even when I mess up, they always make me feel like I’m the best player ever.”

Providence coach Kat Chavarria met her grandparents, Jerry and Mary Anne Stephens, when Isabelle (nicknamed Izzie) was in third grade. Not only did they show up to watch Izzie at the Provets softball camp. They attended every session and would stay until the end.

“It was my first year at Providence,” Chavarria said. “Her parents were working, so grandma and grandpa came every day. They were so excited to be there.”

Throughout Izzie’s career at Providence, Chavarria said she could count on seeing her grandparents at the park, as well as her parents, Bobby and Diana Stephens. Bobby kept a scorebook. Diana found a role live streaming games.

Stephens leaves Providence as the school’s career home run leader with 30. She played on three Provets playoff teams and helped recruit sophomore Lorena Serrano and freshman Phoebe Mendiola to the program.

“I feel like we’ve made big growth,” Stephens said. “It’s probably the best the program has been since the ‘90s, when Providence won state a lot. I feel proud to kind of return us to that status.”

Stephens credited Chavarria with developing her leadership abilities and helping prepare her for the collegiate level.

“Athletically, she has absolutely improved,” Chavarria said. “But the leader Izzie has become has made me extremely proud. I’m so excited for the person she is going to become, because she is so willing to learn and grow.”

Stephens missed three games late in the season because of a sprained ankle, but was determined to return May 10 for the Provets’ area round game at defending state champion Fort Bend Christian. Providence lost 12-2.

“It was a game I was glad to be a part of,” Stephens said. “I didn’t feel totally 100 percent (healthy), but I wanted to play one last game with my team. It was a great team effort. We fought the whole time.”

Her accomplishments at Providence included ranking third in the class of 2022 and carrying a 4.0 grade point average. Stephens was president of the National Spanish Honor Society and Mu Alpha Theta and was the secretary of the National Honor Society.

At Texas Lutheran, she plans to major in sociology with a focus in criminal justice. Her ambition is to pursue law school after graduation.

“I’ve always wanted to do well in academics,” Stephens said. “My mom was one of the smartest kids in her high school and she has always pushed me to get good grades.”

At TLU, she’ll join a softball team that won a NCAA Division III national championship in 2019 and which qualified for the national tournament each of the last two years. She expects to be among several middle-infielders fighting for spots on the team.

“I feel like the coaches are going to push me to be at the top of my game,” Stephens said.

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