It took a sizable commitment, but the Elbert County Coyotes girls fast-pitch softball team will be playing in the Babe Ruth World Series. The Coyotes, a U14 team, won the Babe Ruth state tournament …
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It took a sizable commitment, but the Elbert County Coyotes girls fast-pitch softball team will be playing in the Babe Ruth World Series.
The Coyotes, a U14 team, won the Babe Ruth state tournament held June 21-24 in Elizabeth. Elbert County defeated the Southeast Denver Riptides in the state finals but lost 13-10 to the Riptides in the Midwest Plains regional tournament held July 5-8, also in Elizabeth.
Winning the state tournament qualified the Coyotes for the World Series plus the top two teams in the regional also earned berths in the World Series.
However, raising funds for the trip has been a challenge for the Coyotes, who didn't decide until July 10 to make the trip to Florida's Treasure Coast for the 24-team World Series, scheduled for July 19-27,
Estimated cost for the trip is $2,ooo each for 12 players and two coaches.
“You can image taking 12 girls, two coaches and everything else that goes along with it is a great expense,” said Coyotes coach Jon Hayes. “The big thing is raising money to go down there and not have to stress about money… because quite frankly, a lot of our families are regular folks out in the country, and none of us have wealthy family backgrounds or anything like that.”
A few families have elected to drive and the team is still raising money with a GoFundMe.com page. In two days, $1,505 of the $20,000 goal had been raised. Anybody wishing to contribute can send checks payable to ECYSA to 38280 Rusty Spur Trail, Agate, CO 80110.
Several business, community organizations and individuals have already supported the team's efforts in various ways.
The commitment for the team is more than just fundraising. The responsibility to get players to practice and games is huge because girls on the team come from Elizabeth, Kiowa, Limon, Bennett, Vona, Kit Carson, Black Forest and Castle Rock.
“We have players from all around but Elbert County is kind of central so that's why the name Elbert County Coyotes,” said Hayes.
The current Coyotes team has played together since last August.
“They kept getting better and better and started to show they could be a pretty good team,” said Hayes. “Earning that ticket to get (to the World Series) and knowing that the team that did get us (Riptides) in the regional tournament was the same team we beat in the state tournament pretty handily, we know can do well down there.”
Stephanie Framel, a U12 player from Kit Carson who is playing up, led the team in the regional tournament as she went 12-for-18 with a .667 batting average. Eve Richards won two SHE awards (sportsmanship, hustle, enthusiasm) at the regional and Abby Hayes has a 2.25 earned-run average and struck out 10 batters in the tournament.
Abby Hayes won the Commissioner's Award as the best overall player at the state tournament.
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