TORRINGTON – Torrington senior Chrissy Lira put pen to paper Friday to sign her letter of intent to play softball for Northwest Kansas Technical College in Goodland, Kan.
“It means a lot to me,” Lira said of going on to play at the next level. “It means all my hard work over the years has paid off. All the time and money my parents have spent in it, it finally helped and I can see that.”
Lira has played for the Cheyenne Extreme for the past three years, after starting her softball career with the Torrington Twisters. Once her age group fizzled out locally, she continued playing softball in Cheyenne.
“Cheyenne is a big organization and it’s well-known and we travel a lot further,” Lira said of the platform the Extreme gave her. “Coach Adam really pushed us and gave me the opportunity to get noticed.”
As a member of the Extreme, Lira and the rest of her team competed at a Sparkler National Tournament in Denver, Colo., which is where she was originally noticed by the Lady Mavericks. She then went to a showcase and Northwest Kansas Tech was there again and began the conversation.
“They asked me to come for a visit and once I got there, it was really homey and everyone was super nice,” Lira said. “It was enjoyable to be there and that was my deciding factor.”
Lira spent her time behind the plate for the Extreme, with catcher as her primary position and second base as her secondary position. She was recruited to be a catcher for the Lady Mavericks.
“The big thing with Chrissy is she is a hard worker,” Cheyenne coach Adam Galicia said. “Her work ethic is great and she is going to be successful in whatever she does, that’s just the way she is. She is the kind of girl you have to drag off the field kicking and screaming. She isn’t disrespectful, she just doesn’t want to come out. That’s a big part of her success.”
Lira is one of three softball players on the Extreme who have signed to play college athletics, all with local ties. Fellow Lady Blazer Adia Sherbeyn signed to play volleyball at Western Nebraska Community College and Lexi Trowbridge signed to join the Eastern Wyoming College volleyball program.
“It’s a big deal for us,” Galacia said. “Every year girls decide to go on and play at the next level, it’s a big deal. It’s big for the program.”
Lira is not the only local to join the ranks of the Extreme, with Sherbeyn, Shelby Luttrell and Kaelyn Riley also on last year’s roster.
“Torrington has been a big deal for my teams because I’ve had Torrington girls on my team for the past seven years, probably,” Galacia said. “They’ve all done very well. All the girls I have that come from Torrington, it shows the dedication and the drive to make themselves better.”
This past summer, the 18-and-under Extreme team posted a 36-20 record, winning the state softball championship. She is joining a new team in the Lady Mavericks, who recently started their inaugural season. The program won its first game in school history, beating Otero Junior College on Saturday in a spring game, 11-3.
“Right now, I feel like it’s really real,” Lira said after signing. “It’s an experience I’ve always dreamed of, so now it’s just exciting and I can’t wait for what it has in store for me.”