The Estrella Foothills softball team has dominated its opponents all season long. That’s good for them, because they’ll need to carry the momentum they’ve had all season long into the playoffs, which isn’t too far off. The Lady Wolves are 26-2 and are ranked No. 2 in Division III softball. They’re currently riding a nine-game winning streak which has seen them outscore their opponents 122-13 in those nine games.
A main reason for their success this year is their starting pitching. Their ace, Dustie Durham is responsible for 22 of those wins. She’s only given up 47 runs all year. When you have numbers like that on your resume, you and your team are sure to be successful.
“We work hard as a team, and we come out here everyday and push hard and we do our best,” Durham said. “We have a lot of talent on this team, because a lot of us play club [softball] and some of us play rec or something.”
“‘We do really well together as a team and I think we share this bond that can never be broken,” Durham said.
The team lost three seniors off a very good 2012 team that went undefeated during the regular season, but fell in the playoffs. They replaced those three with three new players, including sisters Devynn and SaVonnah Osmanski, who transferred in from Chicago, Ill.
“Without them, this team wouldn’t have a catcher,” Durham said. “We just needed them to be where they are and we were lucky enough to have them.”
Durham has been pitching and playing softball since she was three years old, so this game is ingrained in her, which explains the success she’s had with the Lady Wolves this season.
“Yeah, you have your good days and you have your bad days, but you have to have a lot of practice and you have to give the time for it,” Durham said.
The team has a good mix of veteran leadership and youth, and they’ve all seemed to come together well for one purpose: to win.
Infielder Taylor Godfrey is the team’s leading hitter. She says of all the teams she’s played on in her career, this group probably has the best chemistry of them all.
“We’ve been working really good together and having some good [practices],” Godfrey said. “We just connect really well and really perform as a team.”
Godfrey says it’s important for each and every player to “compliment” each other, because, as she says, “it’s not an individual sport.” “Being connected with your teammates is very important, because if somebody doesn’t like me, we’re not playing very well together,” Godfrey said.
Just because the team is connected as one doesn’t mean the girls can’t be themselves too.
In fact, that’s what makes the team so strong and unique at the same time. Because they’re all independent ladies, they can march to the beat of their own drums, but come together for the sake of the team when it’s time to.
“We’re all like our own leaders, so we all lead the team in a certain way, but we all have our own attributes to the team,” Godfrey said. “Coach [Rick Brungardt] is there to keep us in shape.”
“They’re smart,” Brungardt said when speaking about his ladies. “They’re not station to station, they’re very aggressive.”
“I’ve coached teams to be very aggressive on the bases, and they’re always looking for opportunities,” Brungardt said. “Other than making a lineup, or setting a defensive position, the girls could probably do it on their own.”