PHOENIX (3TV/CSB 5) -- Rylee Holtorf has come a long way from the days of watching the games as a kid in the stands.

From a young one who was inspired to put on the cleats, she put in the work and was named the nation's No. 1 recruit in the country for her 2021 graduating class by Extra Inning Softball.

"[It's] just an awesome thing to be a part of and to get recognized for hard work, but I think it just also reminds me to keep pushing and keep it," Rylee said.

Ronnie Holtorf is not just Rylee's dad. He's also her club coach.

"[For her] to get that re-enforcement that she is doing the right thing and good from someone else, it's pretty satisfying to say the least, yeah," he said.

Handling the pressure the best she can, getting to this point has required Rylee to sacrifice countless hours.

"I've always said this, but she likes the process of getting better and the hard work," her dad/coach said.

This middle infielder plays highly competitive club softball for the Arizona Storm organization.

It's nonstop practice and her weekends are packed with games and traveling to play the nation's best competition.

"I think being fortunate to play with awesome girls and teammates who make the game so much fun -- being able to have fun when we're competing at the highest level -- makes the game to where we don't want to stop," Rylee said.

Some kids tend to burn out and walk away, but Rylee has maintained her love of the game and balance in the rest of her life.

"I do get those moments where I'm going to sleep in this Saturday and take a break for a little bit and just go hang out with friends, or do something with my family, something other than softball," she said. "My love for the game is stronger than that feeling. So it always keeps pushing me to always keep working."

Once the young dreamer, Rylee has become the impact player with no limits and the face the next generation aspires to be.

"I think it's super awesome, and I think that teaching them there is something bigger than softball -- that softball is not everything, so be a kid have fun -- but still work your hardest and still push to always be your best and want and love the game," said Rylee.

 


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