WHEATLAND – The Wheatland Lady Bulldogs Softball season has officially come to an end. Their inaugural season was full of ups and downs, good and bad weather, extreme player growth, team bonding, and memorable plays. It definitely was sad to see the season come to an end as you always want to keep playing.
The team made this season extraordinary with their hard work and team bonding. They knew that this season would be an uphill climb as they would be up against some of the largest schools in the state. With there only being an east and west conference, every team would be lumped into one division. With only three seniors, Bailey Fitzwater, Haley Shea and Jaden Snook, the Lady Bulldogs are looking forward to the future as there will be many returning players as well as a large number of girls entering as freshmen next year. Each year we expect the program to continue to grow stronger as players gain more experience during summer seasons and more girls know they now have the opportunity to play when they enter high school.
"I know I have said this before, but we are extremely grateful for the support that we received each and every game from our families and fans regardless of what the scoreboard showed," said coach Jodie Fitzwater. "I strived hard this year to keep the players motivated and focused on goals for improvement instead of just focusing on our losses. I wanted them to appreciate the opportunity that they had, understand their role in inspiring younger generations to play, and to represent what true sportsmanship is regardless of the outcome. These players are truly to be commended for their dedication to the season. "
On May 12, the Bulldogs hosted their last home game against the Laramie Plainsmen. In the game against the Plainsmen, the Bulldogs struggled to be successful at the plate as they faced perhaps the best pitcher in the conference. Adair held the Bulldogs to zero runs, one hit, and struck out 14. Rylee Coates had the only hit of the game earning herself a single. Sidney Stearns started on the mound for the Bulldogs for one and one third innings with Bailey Fitzwater coming in for the remaining three and two thirds innings. The Bulldogs lost 20 to 0 to the Plainsmen Varsity in 5 innings.
On May 14, the Lady Bulldogs played in their final game of the season against Cheyenne South Bisons. The weather was a concern throughout the day as the thunder heads began to build to the west. The Bulldogs struggled to put runs on the board and had a tough time defensively containing South Varsity, giving up 11 runs in the five innings of play. The Bulldogs had several errors on the field but also had some nice double plays and pickoffs. Bailey Fitzwater was in the circle for the Lady Bulldogs for the last time and pitched four and a third innings, allowing 11 runs on ten hits, striking out five, and walking zero. Fitzwater and Jaden Snook each had one hit to lead the Bulldogs at the plate. The Lady Bulldogs lost to the Bisons 11 to 1 in 5 innings.
Sadly, the team was unable to play their last game against the Bison JV team due to thunderstorms moving into the area and delaying the game multiple times.