Bison, Bulldogs to do battle in Torrington
TORRINGTON – The 2023 season is the third season of sanctioned high school softball in the state of Wyoming. Since the inception, there has been at least one player from Goshen County making the trip to Cheyenne to play for the Cheyenne South High School Lady Bison.
This season, there are five softball players from Goshen County filling the South’s roster, and they will have a chance to play in front of a hometown crowd and their family and friends on Thursday, April 13 at Jirdon Park.
Alyssa Albaugh and Jayden Wunder are back for their junior years, and new to the Lady Bison squad this year are a trio of freshmen – Hope Hager and Kennedy Reinhardt from Torrington and Laney Grubbs from Lingle-Fort Laramie.
The connection between Torrington and Cheyenne South began early on in 2021 – the first season of high school softball in Wyoming.
“We had heard there were a couple players interested from Torrington, those being Michaela Moorehouse and Alyssa Albaugh,” Cheyenne South coach Curtis Quigley said. “We did some investigation and found out if they wanted to co-op with our district, they would come to South.”
The Lady Bison extended an invitation to them to join the team.
“The rest is history,” Quigley said. “Michaela had a phenomenal year and is now at Northeast Junior College pitching and doing well there. Alyssa is still with us as a junior. She’ll be one of the first freshmen to go all four years with the program. She’s a big foundational piece to our program.”
In 2022, Wunder joined Albaugh on the roster.
“Both have played big pieces in the success we had last year,” Quigley said. “They both contributed very well to our team.”
This season Hager, Reinhardt and Grubbs join Wunder and Albaugh in Cheyenne.
“All five of them have started at a position for us this season,” Quigley said. “I see that continuing on for the next few years.”
Those five have been making weekly trips to Cheyenne for practice in addition to games, but when they are not traveling to and from the capital city, they are holding practices right here in Torrington.
“Having coach Kaylee (Bohnsack) from Torrington has been huge this year,” Quigley said. “(Molly) Moorehouse has helped out in the past, and what we’ve tried to do is minimize the amount they are traveling. You’re talking about an hour and 20 or 30 minutes in a car each way. With the weather, we had to learn to be flexible in what we needed to do.”
They traveled to Cheyenne the first two weeks of practice so they could build a relationship with the other members of the Lady Bison team and get used to the team concepts.
“Then we pick and choose when they come based on weather and how the game schedule looks,” Quigley said. “With Kaylee working with them up there, she’s able to run practices with them every day now. It’s a lot more consistent and controlled.”
On Thursday, game times are set for 3 and 5 p.m. at Jirdon Park.
“I want to make it a big deal as far as getting youth involved and have a goal to get more girls interested in softball, wanting them to come out and play for us and possibly having them start their own team,” Quigley said. “I want it to be Torrington Softball Night. I want to get the younger girls out to the park and watch. We are going to let the younger kids come out on the field. They will do some pregame activities with us.”
The Lady Bison hope to pick up their first win of the season in Torrington. They currently 0-4 this season.
“We are very young. We’ve had some growing pains. We are learning to overcome that. We’ve been able to be competitive for the first two, three innings and then we have a couple key moments that affect us the wrong way. We are learning and getting consistency figured out,” Quigley said. “We are building something really special for the next several years and hopefully a foundation for success for the next few years.”