Parker's Lutheran High School is competing in its second season with a varsity softball program, but the Lions don't have a home field and use three different venues in the area.
The Lions do not have a senior on this year's roster, but Lutheran went 17-2 a year ago in its first varsity campaign, and the Lions are undefeated and the top-ranked Class 3A team in Colorado this season.
Lutheran scored 12 runs in the third inning on Sept. 23 and went on to a mercy rule 16-0 romp over Peak to Peak of Lafayette in a 3A Metro Denver League game to hike its record to 16-0.
The Lions are a young team but Lutheran is loaded with players who play summer club softball.
“I have two wonderful junior leaders. We have a young team but we have a lot of girls that play on some pretty competitive summer teams that we were fortunate to have come to Lutheran,” said Lions coach Glen Maestretti. “The two junior leaders, Faith Byler and Taylor Cramer, have really pulled this team together.”
Maestretti has been happy to welcome club players to the Lutheran team over the past two seasons.
“They play with clubs all over town and that certainly helps us a bunch,” said Maestretti. “They are hard workers and appreciate the difference between high school and club ball. The beauty of high school ball it is you get what you get and we are fortunate to have a lot of good players who play club ball.”
Lutheran has also pulled together this season to support one another.
“I'll go back to the leadership and what a lot of folks don't realize is we've had one player whose house burned and two players that lost a parent this year so the way they have jelled together is special,” said Maestretti.
Taylor Cramer, who went 2-for-3 with two runs batted in against Peak to Peak, says she doesn't think about being a leader.
“We have jelled together because we support each other's backs,” she said. “In our minds we want to show all our teammates what a good work ethic looks like and support them.”
Byler had a hit and RBI in the game against the Pumas and points to bonding as one of the keys to the Lions' success.
“It's all about our bond and it's not about one person,” Byler said “We all work really hard together. Without the leadership we would not have the team we have and I think that will carry on.”
Lutheran improved its record in the Metro league to 4-0 with the victory over Peak to Peak while the Pumas fell to 2-3.
“It will be important to stay humble and not let ourselves get ahead of each other,” added Byler. “Every time we step off the field it is a new game and we focus on winning every inning. We are always telling each other don't let off the gas because this team is not great or whatever. We can't get ahead of ourselves because anyone can beat us.”
Lutheran had 14 hits in the three inning game against Peak to Peak and the Lions raised the team batting average to .513. The team pitching, which has focused mostly on sophomore left-hander Hailey Maestretti, has a 0.80 earned run average.
Stanzyk was 2-for-2 with three RBI against Peak to Peak. Freshman outfielder Mackenzy Glenn had a hit, stolen base and is now hitting a team-leading .684. Shortstop Meredith Barnhart, another freshman, is hitting .623 after she went 2-for-3 with two RBI and a home run in the game against the Pumas. Freshman catcher Malea Yoxsimer also had a home run.
Hailey Maestretti gave up back-to-back singles in the second inning against Peak to Peak but fanned eight batters. She also had two hits and two RBI. In 72 innings pitched this season, Hailey Maestretti has 144 strikeouts.
Lutheran faced three teams early in the season who were ranked in the Top Ten in the Sept. 20 CHSAANow.com Class 3A poll.
The Lions defended second-ranked Eaton, No. 3 Strasburg and seventh-ranked Limon at the Eaton Fighting Reds Softball Extravaganza in August.
“We have to stay as one unit and we preach every day the details and fundamentals, the small things that are going to win us ball games,” said coach Maestretti. “We have a very strong defense when the ball is in play and we have a lineup that can hit. We have the defense, the offense and the pitching which helps a bunch.”
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