Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community member Ashtin Lewis, 14, a student at Stapley Junior High in Mesa, plays on the City of Scottsdale’s 14-and-under Scottsdale Sting fast-pitch softball team, a traveling club team that plays against other fast-pitch teams around the Valley.
Lewis recently was selected to join the team out of 30 girls who tried out. She has been playing softball with teams around the Community since she was eight years old. She has played in many positions in the various leagues. “I enjoy softball; it’s very fun to me, and I like meeting new people like the ones on my team,” Lewis said.
The Scottsdale Sting players are from the Scottsdale area. “They are very focused in the game and into what they are doing on the field, and I like that,” said Lewis.
Lewis said she has a very good throwing arm and can catch fly balls. “My coach, George Fleming, is a very good coach and I like his methods of coaching,” said Lewis. “Working on this team is very exciting to me.”
Lewis’s best friend, Angelique Schurz, also plays with the Scottsdale Sting. One day Schurz attended a practice with Lewis, just to hang out with her friend; she had no intention of trying out for the team. But when the coach saw Schurz’s softball potential and how the two interacted during practice, he wanted Schurz to join the team too.
The league that includes the Scottsdale Sting team does more than play softball; it assists youth in developing the qualities of good sportsmanship, teamwork, citizenship and physical well-being in an atmosphere of fun while learning the skills of softball. The league uses professional instructors from Arizona State University and other NCAA colleges.
Lewis said that she is really looking forward to try-outs for her school team this coming year, the Stapley Sabercats. She also likes playing in softball leagues with adults, because at 5’ 9” she sometimes gets mistaken for an adult. Her parents are active in softball leagues around the Community and with the City of Scottsdale.
Outside of softball, Lewis enjoys swimming, babysitting her niece and nephew, hanging out with her friends, and making new ones. In school she likes history. “I like learning about World War II and the Holocaust,” she said. She has chosen team sports and home economics as her electives.