Stephanie Framel is literally living out her dream in Florida this week as she and her teammates from the EC (Elbert County) Coyotes are playing in the 14U Babe Ruth World Series in Jensen Beach, Florida.
Framel is a rising freshman at Kit Carson High School where her mother, Natalie, is a teacher and her father, Robert, or Mr. Framel to most people, runs the show as the school’s superintendent. The family came from the Elbert area a few years ago and say they love the school and community where they are raising their children. Stephanie has always loved softball and began playing when she was a very young girl. She played with Kit Carson in the Southern Plains league up until the time she was a 12U All-Star pitcher. When she turned 13 last year, however, Southern Plains did not field a team and she found herself lost in the shuffle. Finally, she landed with a combination team of other players in the same situation she was in.
Her EC Coyotes team is a conglomeration of players from all over the area including one player from Stratton, one from Limon, another from Simla, one from the Colorado Springs area, 3 from Elizabeth, another one from Kiowa, two from Elbert, and one, Stephanie, from Kit Carson. This team has committed to a lot of travel between practices and tournaments. To prepare for their goal to qualify for the World Series, they played fall ball and a lot of ball during the spring. This summer they have challenged themselves in some big tournaments as they prepared for the Babe Ruth 14U Regional Tournament where they won and punched their ticket for the East Coast.
Steph’s mom says the experience has been amazing in Florida where all divisions have converged for their respective World Series Tournaments. They range from the 6U division to the 16U division. Steph’s team is one of eight teams in the 14U tournament that includes others from Florida, SE Denver, Arkansas, North Carolina, Texas, and Louisiana. She further describes the atmosphere as exciting and hot! In fact, yesterday the Coyotes played three games in 108 degree temperatures.
Currently, the week-long tournament is finishing up with the pool play where everyone plays everyone. That means they have played 7 games and are currently 3-4 and sitting in third in their pool. On Tuesday, they enter the bracketed double elimination tournament.
For her part, Stephanie a right-handed pitcher who also plays outfield, mostly centerfield, and who bats left-handed, is having a blast in Florida. They’ve been to the ocean and she loves meeting all the many players from across the nation. One very memorable moment for the girls at the opening ceremonies was a moving facebook live cheer to a Babe Ruth veteran player who was in a horrific fire and is still recovering in the hospital. Every girl stood and did cheers and sent well-wishes to their fallen comrade. According to Natalie, this is why they love Babe Ruth and the family atmosphere and small community flavor is what has kept Babe Ruth viable through all these years. “It’s not that way with the other associations, you know, Babe Ruth celebrates life-long friendships and a love of softball.”
Next week the Independent will report on the final tournament play as the Coyotes should make a showing deep into the bracket.