Powered by senior class, Aspen High softball eyes ever elusive victory
The journey started a few years ago with only a couple of players. Now a group of roughly 15, the Aspen High School softball team wants to break new ground together.
“It’s really cool. We’ve built the program,” AHS senior pitcher Lexi Ferlisi said. “We’ve grown together and we are a lot better than we were. It’s really cool to see how much we have grown and I think we have some potential this year.”
The Skiers are mired in quite the losing streak. According to MaxPreps, the team hasn’t won a varsity game since 2009. The school even dropped the program for a couple of years beginning in 2010, but hasn’t won since its return. Now in its fourth season under coach Dave Fuentes, AHS softball finally has something it hasn’t had in a long time.
“A lot of us have played all four years and we’ve been able to grow and get to know how each other plays,” senior catcher Kaelin Harris said. “So it’s real exciting to finally bring it together.”
Not once in the past three seasons under Fuentes has Aspen softball had a single senior on its roster. This season, half the roster is made of seniors, most of whom have been playing varsity since they were freshmen. It’s been a long and difficult journey for this group, which is still searching for that first win, but they’ve never wavered from their task or from each other.
“Our first day as freshmen we had like four people, and now we got all these people out here who committed and stayed with it,” senior third baseman/outfielder Ashlyn Dunn said. “It was kind of scary because we knew we were facing teams that had been playing for a while and were definitely really good. But I think it was good experience for us to see the next few years what we need to be working toward. It definitely made us a better team.”
The team still doesn’t have much depth and Ferlisi is the only true pitcher, with junior Laney Martens the primary backup. But the Skiers have seniority and experience like they haven’t had in nearly a decade. The next step would be to make the most of that on the field.
The team’s motto this season is “Win the pitch.”
“Getting a win would be great, but we don’t measure our success on that. It’s just being competitive and being better than you were yesterday,” Fuentes said. “It’s not about the wins and definitely not about the losses. It’s about going out and having fun and getting better. That’s what is really amazing about this group. They’ve bought into that and they work at it.”
Aspen’s season gets underway Thursday as it hosts Basalt at 4 p.m. on Upper Moore Field. The Longhorns had a changing of the guard with David Miller having taken over the program this fall and with the graduation of standout pitcher Morgan Ash.
Basalt won both contests against the Skiers last season, winning 17-3 and 15-2. A strong team from year to year, BHS has its eyes set on the state tournament.
As for Aspen, it has its eyes set on finally getting that elusive victory this season.
“I am hoping we will surprise them,” Ferlisi said. “It would probably be the best feeling ever (to win), just because we have gone through a lot of losses. There would definitely be tears in probably all of our eyes.”
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It’s that time of year — hikers and mountain bikers must be aware that seasonal closures are taking effect on multiple trails in the area for the winter for the benefit of wildlife.