Amanda Steig set for final collegiate softball season

HOWELL — Former Reed City softball standout Amanda Steig was a key part of the first season for the sport at Cleary University in Howell.

Cleary ended its inaugural season at 9-23.

“We accomplished a lot this season and set a strong foundation for next year,” coach Tom Bailey said in a statement. “We will build on that foundation and be better next year.”

Steig, a junior left-hand hitting catcher, came to Cleary after two seasons at Grand Rapids Community College.

Cleary’s season ended in April.

“For a first-year team, we did a lot better than anticipated,” Steig said. “We finished the season on a high note. For this coming year, we have higher hopes, now that we have one year under our belts. We should come back stronger than ever.”

A highlight for Steig was that it was a season of firsts for the program and records were constantly being set.

“Not many people get that opportunity,” she said. “Along with catcher, Steig was also a closing pitcher.”

Steig entered the season with high hopes.

“I didn’t realize what two years off from catching and pitching can do for you,” she said. “I wasn’t satisfied with how the season went although I don’t think it was a bad season for me.”

Steig caught only six games while she was at GRCC. The rest of the time she played the outfield.

“It was an adjustment coming back to catcher full-time,” she said. “The coaches asked where I played when I first started. I told them I had been a catcher and I loved catching.”

Steig said she’ll be going back to outfield for the 2016 season and in a reserve role as catcher and pitcher.

She didn’t pitch at Cleary and said the coaches decided to put her back as a pitcher. Adjusting to both positions was a challenge, she admitted.

Steig said she struggled at the plate.

“I don’t know what the reason was behind it,” she said. “I’ll work a lot during the offseason with my dad, my hitting coach, this summer. He’s been my coach forever.”

Her dad, Roger Steig, is Reed CIty’s high school softball coach.

Steig said she’s taking the summer off from softball, which, she added, might prove to be beneficial after having played the sport basically every summer in the past.

Fall softball will start in September.

“Going into the season as a senior, it’s hit me that this will be my last opportunity to play fastpitch,” Steig said. “Not a lot of people have gotten a chance to play college softball. This year, I have to give it all I’ve got. It’s my last go-around.”