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Softball Peak Performer: Taryn Arcarese of Discovery Canyon
"We’re thrilled about getting Taryn. She’s a quality person and excellent athlete. What we’re most excited about is her leadership. She’s a tremendous leader. It’s interesting that she’s coached by Tanya Ramsay, who was on my team the first year at Otero Junior College, where I started my (college) career. Tanya is a wonderful coach who brings intensity and love of the game. With that coaching, Taryn fits in so well with our program."
The list of accomplishments and offensive statistics, quite frankly, make Taryn Arcarese a little uncomfortable. To the Discovery Canyon senior shortstop, she’d rather be remembered for a different part of softball.
“My favorite part of the game is being able to make an amazing play at any moment of the game, and that usually comes on defense,” said Arcarese, who batted .519 and led the Thunder with 31 RBIs, five home runs and nine doubles. “I sometimes like defense more than offense. It’s an overlooked part and something I take great pride in.”
Arcarese also takes great pride in having played a key role in Discovery Canyon reaching the state tournament three times in four years, especially in a fledgling program with six seasons under its belt.
For her senior year, the Thunder took another huge step, winning their first state contest before falling to eventual 4A champion Pueblo East in the quarterfinals.
That’s just gravy.
“Just being able to come here and build something that has grown to be what it is today is so humbling,” said Arcarese, who Wednesday signed a National Letter of Intent to play college softball at Colorado State. “I will remember these moments for the rest of my life.”
She’s not the only one with fond memories of her four years wearing purple and black.
Coach Tanya Ramsay, who started the program in 2006 on a field that didn’t include a completed visitor’s dugout, found it hard to keep her emotions in check when introducing her and highlighting her accomplishments before the ceremony.
“She is an amazing athlete, a one-of-a-kind person,” Ramsay said. “She has a great work ethic and is a student of the game. Whatever Taryn does, she’ll be successful, in athletics or in a career. When you’re a college coach, you’re looking for that type of a person.”
Ramsay, a former assistant at Colorado-Colorado Springs, played softball at Otero Junior College under Jen Fisher, who heads the program at CSU after taking a dormant program at Metro State and turning it into a perennial national contender.
So she knows a thing or two about not only Fisher, but what it takes to make the transition and continue to find success at the next level.
“Coach Fisher is, number one, looking for a good all-around person,” Ramsay said. “That’s why she has been so successful wherever she’s been. She makes sure she brings in great young women first.”
Arcarese recalls her early days playing softball when, as a 6-year-old, taking the coach’s instruction to play right field.
She ran to the outfield. She kept running, all the way to her mom, who was sitting on the other side of the fence.
“I asked my mom where right field was,” Arcarese laughed.
Fortunately, she soon after found a new home at shortstop, a position at which she’s made a home ever since.
And soon, it’ll be on the infield dirt of Ram Field.
“It’s going to be a challenge, but I’m excited for it and ready to accept it,” Arcarese said. “I’m not going to lie. I cried my eyes out at our last game and last practice, but looking back, I have no regrets. My time here will always be a part of my life, but I’m ready to take the next step.”