Prep Softball

Softball notes: Beckman's Sydney Steffen zeroes in on 1,000 innings pitched

'She kind of represents who we are,' according to Coach Ryan Meissner

Dyersville Beckman Catholic's Sydney Steffen evades a tag attempt by Williamsburg's Charley Geguzis at the West Delaware Hawk Invitational softball tournament June 15 at Manchester. Steffen has been a workhorse in the pitching circle for the Blazers the past five years, and could hit the 1,000-inning mark for her career as early as Wednesday. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)
Dyersville Beckman Catholic's Sydney Steffen evades a tag attempt by Williamsburg's Charley Geguzis at the West Delaware Hawk Invitational softball tournament June 15 at Manchester. Steffen has been a workhorse in the pitching circle for the Blazers the past five years, and could hit the 1,000-inning mark for her career as early as Wednesday. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)

The between-games banter between Sydney Steffen and softball coach Ryan Meissner has been a constant during their time together at Dyersville Beckman.

“She’ll pitch the first game, then she’ll ask in the dugout if she is pitching the second,” Meissner said. “I’ll say, ‘Is your arm still attached? Then you’re still pitching.’”

That’s what Steffen wants. It’s what Meissner wants. And it gives the Blazers their best opportunity to succeed.

The Blazers’ No. 1 pitcher since her eighth-grade season, Steffen is approaching the 1,000-inning mark for her career, and could get there Wednesday when Beckman plays at Center Point-Urbana.

“It’s pretty cool,” said Steffen, a four-sport athlete. “It’s been a fun high-school career.”

Steffen pitched 165 innings as an eighth-grader, 215 1/3 as a freshman, topped out at 234 1/3 as a sophomore, then 178 2/3 as a junior.

In her final season, she is at 199 1/3 innings and owns a 19-11 mark. She is 92-61 in her career with 992 2/3 innings logged.

ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW ADVERTISEMENT

“Sydney kind of represents who we are,” Meissner said. “We are who she is. She gives us a quiet leadership. She’s not a rah-rah kid, but she’ll hold everybody accountable.”

Like teammate Heather Boeckenstedt, Steffen has been a cornerstone of Beckman’s girls athletics in recent years. Both will play multiple sports at Coe College next year.

“They’re oil and water,” Meissner said. “They’re great teammates to each other, but they’re completely different.”

Steffen was the setter last fall when Beckman reached the 2A state volleyball semifinals.

“I just want to do what’s best for the team,” Steffen said. “If I need to go extra innings or pitch both games of a doubleheader, I’ll do it. I’m the one with the most experience.

“My arm doesn’t ever get sore. Sometimes my knee does, but I don’t think about it.”

Beckman (24-12) is a dangerous team when 2A regionals begin next week. The Blazers have won 16 of their last 21 games. Boeckenstedt (.547, 51 runs, 35 stolen bases) and Steffen (.436, six home runs, 38 RBIs) lead the offensive attack.

“We’re capable of scoring a lot of runs,” Meissner said. “And when we do, we’re tough to beat.”

Good news for Midland, at last

Despite a long string of losses, Midland’s Zach Hebl has been one of the most faithful coaches in reporting scores to The Gazette this summer.

Finally, this week, he had some good news to share.

ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW ADVERTISEMENT

The Eagles ended a 33-game losing streak Monday, defeating Bellevue, 9-4. They followed with a 7-6 victory over Easton Valley, improving to 2-29 this season.

It was the first time that Midland has won back-to-back games since June 14-17, 2010.

l Comments: (319) 368-8857; jeff.linder@thegazette.com

Give us feedback

We value your trust and work hard to provide fair, accurate coverage. If you have found an error or omission in our reporting, tell us here.

Or if you have a story idea we should look into? Tell us here.

Give us feedback

We value your trust and work hard to provide fair, accurate coverage. If you have found an error or omission in our reporting, tell us here.

Or if you have a story idea we should look into? Tell us here.