WHEATLAND – The 2022 season is only the second season for sanctioned high school softball in the state of Wyoming, and this year, Torrington High School sophomores Alyssa Albaugh and Jadyn Wunder both represent the Blazers as members of the Cheyenne South High School Lady Bison softball team.
The connection between Torrington and South began two years ago when it was announced softball would become a WHSAA sport.
“I knew I wanted to play softball when it was the first year of it,” Albaugh said. “My mom and Molly Moorehouse went and talked to the board. They tried to get us in with Wheatland, and that didn’t work out. So, South accepted us and have been very welcoming.”
This is Albaugh’s second season with South, and the first year for Wunder, and both players were both quickly accepted as one of South’s very own despite not attending school in Cheyenne.
“Last year, when we had Michaela (Moorehouse) and Alyssa coming down, that was the one thing I was blown away by our girls. They accepted them with open arms and loved them,” South head softball coach Curtis Quigley said. “They became a part of our team seamlessly. It was so much fun to watch them interact, have fun and enjoy a great game together.”
For Wunder, she’s coming off hip surgery and isn’t fully 100% yet but being validated by the team has meant so much to her.
“From the very start, all the girls have been very welcoming and so supportive,” Wunder said. “I remember the first day, Allie (Robert) came over and introduced herself to me. The coaches are so amazing and have made sure I fit in with the team and helped me learn more.”
Both players feel like they are as much of South High School as anyone else on the team.
On Thursday, the duo made their presence felt often on the softball field in Wheatland. Despite falling 16-11 in game one and 13-3 in game two on an extremely windy evening, Albaugh and Wunder were consistently making a difference for the Lady Bison.
Both collected hits and made defensive plays on a team who has only recorded one win so far this season.
In game one, Albaugh went 2-for-3 and tallied three RBIs while playing shortstop. Meanwhile, Wunder went 1-for-3 and RBI while holding down first base.
In the second game, Albaugh spent time behind the plate and in the circle for South, while Wunder was the designated hitter and later came in as a replacement for the Lady Bison at first base.
Albaugh led off the game with a double, and later in the top of the first inning, Wunder singled, driving in South’s second run of the game.
Unfortunately for South, they were able to only push one more run across the plate over the remainder of the game before Wheatland run-ruled the contest in the bottom of the fifth inning.
Albaugh also got to pitch two innings for South, striking out one, while in the middle innings of the game, Wunder also flashed her defensive abilities, snagging a hard-hit line drive to record an out and save Wheatland from scoring a run.
Despite the losses, they were all smiles after the doubleheader and love getting to play the sport they love even though THS doesn’t have a team.
“Although the record isn’t good, we’ve improved so much as a team from our first game to now,” Albaugh said. “We’ve always had the ability to play the game, but we’ve never used it until now.”
“We as a team have gotten so much closer, and I feel the relationships we’ve built have helped us on the field as well,” Wunder added. “Our trust hasn’t always been the best, but the last couple weeks, we’ve learned to trust each other more and just let the game happen because it’s so unpredictable.”
After the game, the duo earned high praise from coach Quigley.
“They are tremendous young ladies with great character. They make us a way better team. I enjoy having them so much,” he said. “They bring a lot of positive energy, humor and personality to this team that you can’t coach. They are both very important to what we do. They are both young, and they will continue to build and do great things for us. I look forward to having more Alyssa’s and Jadyn’s coming out and more young ladies from Torrington coming out and playing with us.”
Quigley also added they are looking into possibly moving the team’s home game against Wheatland next season to Torrington to allow the duo to play a game in front of many more family and friends.