Players of South Routt's women's softball team pose in Yampa on Wednesday.

Photo by Matt Stensland

Players of South Routt's women's softball team pose in Yampa on Wednesday.

'Routties' play on and off the field

South Routt softball team revives after taking a year off

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— Despite years of dedication and playing together, the members of South Routt's longstanding women's softball team, which once went undefeated for six years in Steamboat Springs' now defunct women's league, are not sure what their team's name is.

Janet Rossi dubbed them the "South Routties" Wednesday night, in testament to her fellow teammates' rowdiness on and off the field, during an impromptu end-of-season party.

The team of 10 women, ranging in age from 23 to 56, made the move to the women's league in Eagle this year to keep the tradition alive after a year of no competition.

"At the end of the season, when were all shaking hands, everyone was saying 'You all have to come back next season,'" Charlene Regan said. "We were pretty wild. All the umps loved us, too."

"One time, when they realized we were coming all the way from Oak Creek to play ball, they were just going, 'Wow,'" Gail Schisler said.

The women were not sure how long they have been playing together - guesses run at least a decade. Regan, Rossi and Tammie Crawford have been on a team together since they were student athletes at Soroco High School, and the South Routt team took first place from 2000 to 2002, when Steamboat Springs had a women's league.

Since Steamboat switched to co-ed only, the team kept playing with pick-up games then moved to the Eagle league this year. The team, sponsored by Bonfiglio Drug and the Royal Hotel, finished 3-5 after a rough start.

"Most of us play co-ed too, we wanted to play in a women's league," Onika Mayer said. "There's more camaraderie. We get pissy, but not macho."

All summer, the 10 women piled into their cars every Wednesday afternoon and hit the highway, making the trek to Eagle to take the field.

With the change in location from Steamboat to Eagle, softball switched from a family affair, with everyone's children playing on the sidelines, to girls' night out.

"We didn't have our kids with us, we didn't have our spouses with us," Regan said. "It was nice to just have a women's night."

"Girl time is vital to the survival of the women species," Janet Rossi said.

Regan is also organizing a softball tournament as part of Oak Creek's annual Labor Day festivities. Games begin at 9 a.m. Aug. 31 at the Soroco High School softball field, for co-ed players ages 16 and up. Entry fees are $75 for a team, or $8 per person. To register, contact Charlene Regan at 736-0520.

- To reach Melinda Dudley, call 871-4203

or e-mail mdudley@steamboatpilot.com

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