LA GRANGE — Growing up in a baseball family, Riley Frisbie just played the sport like her older brother and dad.
Now, the La Grange resident is following in their footsteps by playing for Lyons Township. Frisbie recently made the freshmen baseball team at LT, even surviving a cut to become the first girl to play baseball for the successful program, according to Frisbie.
She has always played baseball, starting with T-ball at 6 years old. By the time Frisbie was 11 she was the only girl on the boys La Grange Little League team that won the state title in 2010. She hit two home runs and had seven RBIs in the final game.
Those years of playing haven’t made playing for LT a milestone, but rather the next step.
“I just always played and I loved it from the start,’ she said. “I expected to make the team. My goal is more to start and not just make the team. I don’t want to just be sitting there. I actually want to play.”
Frisbie has always been into sports. She played basketball for LT this winter and has previously played volleyball and softball. Instead of playing volleyball for LT in the fall, she traveled with a girls baseball team to Canada for a tournament.
Clearly she has athletic ability, but the question is why baseball and not softball? Frisbie has played softball for travel teams as recently as last year, but still prefers baseball.
“It was still competitive and she enjoyed it, but baseball has always been her first love,” said Katie Frisbie, Riley’s mom. “I think she’d rather play with the boys. There’s no cheering. There’s no giddiness. There’s no chants. She’s not a girly girl. The boys have always accepted her and she’s had no problem playing with the boys.”
Riley said she’s never had trouble with teammates but occasionally has had issues with opposing teams. This year, she knows most of her LT teammates from Little League so the familiarity will help.
“I just feel like one of the teammates,” she said. “I’m kind of used to just playing with all boys. The past couple years I’ve been always with boys.”
Riley tried out at catcher, pitcher and third base. Due to the large number of pitchers on the freshmen team she thinks she will end up hitting more, which is fine by her because her favorite part about baseball is hitting home runs.
The Lions' varsity team has become one of the powerhouse program’s in the state. Two years ago, LT won the Class 4A state title and last year was runner-up. Riley’s father played for the Lions under current coach George Ushela.
“I know how good they’ve been in the past and I can’t wait to be a part of it,” Riley said.