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Peters fitting right in

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Dakota Ridge senior second baseman switched positions after transferring from Green Mountain

By Chelsy Woods Klein

Uniforms make everyone look the same. It helps remind those wearing them that they work for the same cause. But Dakota Ridge senior softball player Kristyn Peters might as well have an “X” on her uniform, because the second she hits the field, her extraordinary talent sets her apart.
Indeed, Peters looks like everyone else on the field. She’s just another kid with a bat, ball and glove. But with Peters, it’s evident that she is unique. Dakota Ridge head softball coach Dave Atencio noticed Peters’ talents before she transferred from Green Mountain last year.
“She is a stellar softball player, and when we found out that she was going to transfer here, I almost couldn’t believe it,” Atencio said.
Peters said that when she left Green Mountain it was to pursue better educational and athletic opportunities, but that didn’t make the lump in her throat from nerves any smaller.
“When she came to us (from Green Mountain), she was one of the state’s best pitchers,” recalls Atencio. “But Kristyn was almost too timid (to fill a leader role) because she didn’t want to wreck the team’s chemistry, especially since we were already 10-0 when she started playing midseason.”
He uses words like humble, mature and driven to describe Peters. They are all words befitting of the 17-year-old, but they aren’t hollow words. Atencio says that Peters’ work ethic is only outshined by her drive to be the best.
Constant competition with her older brother Taylor drove Peters to be a good student and a stellar athlete.
“You could see it with her even early on. She was very athletic at a very young age. Always a little stronger and a little faster than the other kids her age, including the boys,” said Peters’ father, Kevin.
But Peters, who leads Dakota Ridge in runs (27), hits (27), triples (3) and is tied for homers (5), is level-headed enough to not fall into the jock role, allowing Atencio to help guide her long-term plan.
“She could have walked onto the mound as soon as she started,” Atencio said, “but she and I had several long heart-to-hearts about what she wanted and where she wanted softball to take her. She is an athlete, not just a softball player, and (college-level) coaches want that.”
Thus, Peters moved to second base once joining Dakota Ridge. The transition wasn’t easy for Peters, who loves pitching and still pines to be on the mound.
“It’s definitely hard to play second,” Peters said. “You have to be much more aware of everything that is happening in the game.”
Dakota Ridge is at the top of its game this year, and Atencio believes this team might have a shot at taking state. The Lady Eagles were 15-2, 5-1 in the 5A Jeffco League entering their Oct. 2 showdown with Chatfield. Results of that game weren’t available at press time.
Dakota Ridge wraps up the regular season on Oct. 4 at Lakewood before heading to the regional playoffs a week later. And one can bet that Peters, who has verbally committed to Colorado State, will be one of the players the Lady Eagles will look toward come playoff time.