Girls team focuses on future


Steamboat Springs softball coach Donna Ryan prefers to look past the win-loss records and focus on the future.

This summer, Ryan led a group of 14 girls through a season that was not as much about winning games as it was about gaining experience and building the future of girls softball in Steamboat.

On Wednesday, the Steamboat girls defeated Hayden in the second half of a doubleheader for the team's first win in nine games.

"This summer is a chance to build our program and to expose girls in Steamboat Springs to fastpitch," Ryan said. "It's not about one game or one tournament."

For the first time, the team has ventured outside of Steamboat and into uncharted territory.

After years of scraping together local games, the Steamboat team decided it was time to enter Triple Crown tournaments in Steamboat and Loveland.

The girls earned a fourth-place plaque in Loveland, and players Kathleen Lyon, Lizzy Stoll and Christie Fielding earned Most Valuable Player honors.

Ryan hopes the experience will draw new girls to the sport and help the Steamboat players, many of whom are new to the game, continue to improve.

The team is at a definite disadvantage against many of the squads they have played this summer, Ryan said.

Most of the other teams started playing in April and will play more than 50 games before the end of the season.

The Steamboat girls started playing in mid-May and hope to play a dozen games before the season comes to an end at the state championships July 16 and 17 in Brighton.

After that tournament, most of the players will take a break from softball, but Ryan hopes many of them will return this fall when the Steamboat Springs High School girls softball team begins practice.


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