New coach Mike Bilyeu looks to bring a winning attitude to the program

by: ESTACADA NEWS: DAVID BALL - Rangers pitcher Sylvia Hill fires a throw to the plate during a game against Corbett.

For the Estacada softball team, it is out with the old and in with the new.

The program has been down on its luck for a while, and is therefore leaving the past in the past and moving forward. The Rangers are not concerning themselves with what has been done or happened previously. They are focused entirely on what is happening with the program now.

“The girls are working really hard and they are starting to play pretty good ball,” Estacada coach Mike Bilyeu said. “I think they are definitely moving in the right direction.”

The Rangers went 2-16 a year ago, and most games weren’t competitive. They lost nine games by double digits with a few others were not much closer. This year, while still young, is already shaping up better for Estacada. In the Rangers’ first five games of the season, they came out on top once and lost by a single run twice.

One of Estacada’s main purposes is to put a competitive team out on the field day in and day out. That goal of putting a quality product on the diamond is coming to pass sooner than anticipated.

The next step is to build upon that continually throughout the season.

“Our goal right now is to be playing good softball,” Bilyeu said. “Halfway through the year, I’d like to be playing very good softball. By the end of the year, I’d like to be playing excellent softball. We’ve got plenty of talent, but we’re not there yet.”

Bilyeu and the Rangers know they won’t get to that point overnight. They know it will take time to learn what it takes to play well consistently.

“We have to learn how to win,” Bilyeu said. “Success breeds success. You start winning a few ball games and suddenly you walk out there with a little different attitude.”

The Rangers think they can get to there. They see what the baseball team has done in resurrecting its program and they are confident they can get to that same level.

Bilyeu and Estacada are aware that it took time for the baseball program to get where it is. But they believe the softball program, in time, can be a product that the community can be just as proud of. Getting to that point starts now with success this season.

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