Print subscribers please click here to create your digital access account
It was an ordinary catch of an ordinary fly ball late in Fort Lupton’s 12-1, 4 ½-inning softball win over Arvada Sept. 15. But it was enough to make Fort Lupton right fielder Hanah …
This item is available in full to subscribers.
If you're a print subscriber, but do not yet have an online account, click here to create one.
Click here to see your options for becoming a subscriber.
If you made a voluntary contribution in 2021-2022, but do not yet have an online account, click here to create one at no additional charge. VIP Digital Access includes access to all websites and online content.
It was an ordinary catch of an ordinary fly ball late in Fort Lupton’s 12-1, 4 ½-inning softball win over Arvada Sept. 15. But it was enough to make Fort Lupton right fielder Hanah Leichleitner smile from ear to ear.
“It’s my first time catching a ball in the outfield,” she said. “I’m very proud. I’ve never felt so accomplished.”
Leichleitner isn’t new to softball. But she took some time off, in part to recover from a knee injury.
“I started playing in the summer league (about five months ago),” she said. “I decided to join the high-school season. I knew this would be a sport I could put my time into, my best effort. And I’ve seen how far I’ve come.”
When she played before, she didn’t particularly like it.
“I quit for several years. Then I decided to come back, give it another chance,” she said. “I loved my coaches. I don’t think they knew much about softball. I played off instincts and guts. I love my coaches now. I’ve learned so much from them. It’s been pretty nice this season. I feel so honored to play on this team.”
“She’s come a long, long way. We’re very proud of her,” FLHS coach Albert Vasquez said. “She’s not afraid. She’s a student of the game. She’s a pleasure to coach. That’s the success. She wants to get in. You’re playing for a league title, you don’t know what you’re going to get. You see that the hard work pays off.”
FLHS spotted Arvada a first-inning run, thanks to a Sydnee Fark base hit, before scoring 12 unanswered runs over the next three innings. Areliana Bravo had three RBIs, including a run-scoring double. Rozzie Mendoza hit a solo home run as part of her three-hit afternoon. Genevieve Hunt added an RBI double.
Winning pitcher Sammy Gonzales allowed four hits and struck out six in a complete-game effort.
“We worked as a team. We may not have started off so amazing with our batting. But we pushed hard,” Leichleitner said. “It was a tough start. We got through because we knew we could do it.”
Vasquez said the recent point of emphasis has been the approach to two-strike hitting.
“What’s been our Achilles’ in our 14 games (through Sept. 15) and in the tournament this weekend (Sept. 9 and 10) was we have runners in scoring position. We didn’t have a good two-strike approach. I told them today, ‘There’s a not-confident hitter, and there’s a confident hitter. You guys are confident hitters. Go out there and hit with confidence.’ That’s what I saw today.”
Fort Lupton visits Jefferson at 4 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 22.
“I’m so glad I get to play with my seniors,” Leichleitner said. “It’s going to be a great season.”
Other items that may interest you
We have noticed you are using an ad blocking plugin in your browser.
The revenue we receive from our advertisers helps make this site possible. We request you whitelist our site.