DENVER (KDVR) — High school softball games look a little different in 2020. Air high fives. Fans having to sit in the outfield. Face masks. All of this doesn’t matter though because the game gets to be played.
“There are some modifications, but you still get the essence of the game, you get the excitement, you get the teamwork. You get the real feel you’re playing softball, so there are adjustments, but it’s still awesome.” Jim Santaniello said, Columbine Head Softball Coach.
Enough about the pandemic. Let’s get to who you should watch for this season. In the 5A ranks, Columbine has a target on their back after winning state in 2019.
“Our philosophy this year is that every single girl has to contribute and be mentally tough.” said Coach Santaniello.
The expectations are high for the Rebels, but the girls think they are handling it well even after a loss to Rock Canyon on Saturday.
“We are handling the expectations well. We did lose today, but we can learn from this loss.. especially when state comes around.” said Araya Ogden, Columbine sophomore pitcher.
Columbine was ranked No. 1 in the preseason rankings, but right behind them was the team they lost to on Saturday: Rock Canyon. A season ago, the Jaguars were the No. 1 seed, but they were upset in the first round of the 2019 state tournament.
“Last year, we did not end the way we hoped to, so we have set our expectations even higher this year,” Audrey Burt said, Rock Canyon senior pitcher. Rock Canyon won Saturday 7-0, but there could easily be a rematch come state tournament time.