CHEYENNE – Cheyenne Extreme under-18 coach Xia Wysocki sees a lot of herself in Aubrianna Garcia.
For that reason, and because she knows what Garcia can bring to the table, Wysocki holds Garcia to high standards.
“She gets on herself a lot because she has high expectations,” Wysocki said. “When she gets down, it’s because she knows she can do better, and so do I. She’s one I hold to high expectations.”
Garcia was one of three players with prior competitive softball experience on Cheyenne South’s inaugural softball team this spring. The Lady Bison finished the season 2-10 with both wins coming against Wheatland. The record may not dictate it, but the strides made throughout the season exceeded expectations, said both Garcia and Wysocki – who was an assistant coach for South.
The junior’s leadership had a lot to do with the growth the team made throughout the season, especially on a team with mainly first-year players.
“She brought a lot of energy and a lot of leadership,” the coach said. “She has high energy as it is, and she really helped out and showed the team what they needed to do.”
Wysocki wasn’t the only person who could pinpoint that leadership.
“Some girls have told me that I am a role model when it comes to softball,” Garcia said. “And I do consider myself a captain, a leader, a role model.”
A roster built with players that are new to the sport and the softball community made it more difficult to build that much-needed team chemistry, Garcia said. It took some time getting used to, but by the time the season neared its end, the Bison were hanging around with teams that were blowing them out early in the season.
“As a team, at the beginning of the season, we really didn’t know how each other worked,” Garcia said. “But towards the end, we got to know how each other played and it ended up being pretty good.”
Garcia primarily plays third base and sometimes makes an appearance at catcher. She led the Bison in batting average among players who played in at least three games, batting .387 on the season.
As an assistant coach for South, Wysocki helped motivate Garcia, usually in a little more of an assertive way. But that’s the relationship the two have built. Wysocki even gave Garcia her personal glove when Garcia’s glove broke during South’s season.
“She’s more of a grittier girl,” Wysocki said. “You can’t talk nice to her, you have to talk a little meaner and she understands that and reacts better to that.”
Playing on Extreme for five-and-a-half years, Garcia was forced to play against many current Extreme teammates who play for Cheyenne Central, Cheyenne East and Laramie. The familiarity made it more difficult, she said, but it was a two-way street. Either way, when it comes time to take the field with Extreme, they know how to handle that.
“It was obviously competitive,” the 18-year-old said. “But we know when we come back to softball in the summer, we have to burn those bridges and come back together.”
The Wysocki Extreme team is the younger of the two under-18 Extreme teams. However, a majority of the players are 14 years old with only two 18 year olds.
Garcia looks forward to and is hoping she can maintain that leadership with this young roster, similar to what she did with South.
“Just being able to be that player that everyone can come to for advice, whether its personal stuff or in the game itself,” she said. “I want to be someone that brings the team up.”
Extreme-Wysocki goes 2-1 on Saturday
CHEYENNE – The Extreme-Wysocki U-18 squad went 2-1 on Saturday at the Extreme Weekend Tournament.
Cheyenne beat the Laramie Lightning 19-5 to open the day and outlasted the Lakewood Wildcats 9-8 before falling to the Northern Colorado Sting-Flores 12-0. Each game went no longer than three innings because of time constraints.
Emily Schlagel was 4 for 4 on the day and finished with six RBI’s including a two-run home run. Cameron Moyte was 3 for 5, drove in two runs and hit a homer. Arianna Canseco was 4 for 5 with two RBI’s.
Extreme starts bracket play today.
CHEYENNE 19, LARAMIE 5
Cheyenne......784 xxx x – 19 18 2
Laramie....401 xxx x – 5 10 0
Laramie pitching: Martin and Montez. Cheyenne pitching: Vallejo and Stack.
W: Vallejo. L: Martin.
2B: Cheyenne 4 (Aguilar, Canseco Schlagel, Stack); Laramie 2 (Swinford, Caramanno). HR: Cheyenne 1 (Schlagel).
CHEYENNE 9, LAKEWOOD 8
Lakewood.......017 xxx x – 8 5 5
Cheyenne.......252 xxx x – 9 13 2
Lakewood pitching: Ponting and Klausing. Cheyenne pitching: Schlagel, Vallejo and Yniguez.
2B: Cheyenne 3 (Hogelin, Schlagel, Stack); Lakewood 2 (Winner, Denton). HR: Cheyenne 1 (Moyte); Lakewood 1 (Aragon).
NOCO STING 12, CHEYENNE 0
Northern Colorado...........(11)1x xxx x – 12 7 0
Cheyenne.......................000 xxx x – 0 0 5
NOCO pitching: Rojero and Dean. Cheyenne pitching: Moorehouse, Ramirez, Vallejo and Stack.
W: Rojero. L: Moorehouse.
2B: NOCO 4 (Georgeiou, Woods, Anderson, Sapp).