Ashley Taipale’s Arm Powering Denfeld
Triple Threat Athlete Leading Hunters
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Like many high school athletes, Denfeld’s Ashely Taipale plays three sports. But her favorite is softball. And her favorite part of the game is swinging the bat.
“The feeling when you get a really good hit, and it just goes, it’s the best feeling in the world,” said Taipale.
Ashley is hitting over .400 and leads the Hunters in RBIs. Thanks to a paitent approach at the plate.
“I just take a deep breath and all I’m thinking is base hit, because if you think home run, it’s not going to happen,” Taipale said.
However, it’s Ashley’s arm that may be more valuable to the Hunters. She’s Denfeld’s number 1 starter and according to Denfeld coach Ron Swanson, the only option he has.
“That’s a lot of pressure on her to be good every day,” said Swanson. “Nothing seems to panic her, especially in situations. She rises to the occasion.”
So far this season, Ashley has risen to the occasion with two no–hitters. One of them a perfect game and despite lofty strikeout numbers, Ashley says it’s her defense that gives her confidence.
“I know I have a lot of support behind me. I don’t worry about if they hit it, I just try to hit my spots,” said Taipale.
Swanson says Denfeld needs Ashley at her best for the Hunters to repeat as conference
“She’s really the only varsity pitcher we have and she hits third in the lineup. We have to have her playing well and she has so far,” said coach Swanson.
Denfeld is a young team with 10 players between 8th and 10th grade, so Ashley needs to lead on and off the field.
“They look up to her as a leader. She’s not a rah–rah type, but she leads by example,” Swanson said.
“I need to stay positive. Even if you strike out, you can’t get down. You have to set an example so when they get older, they know what to do,” Taipale said.