Girls Junior Varsity Softball, Girls Varsity Softball · Steinbacher looks to lead Bearden into state tournament

Over the course of one of Bearden softball’s most successful seasons ever, Dana Steinbacher has taken a leadership role.

Steinbacher has established herself as a leader on and off the field this season, and has been a major reason that the Bearden softball team is making their first sub-state appearance since 2002.

Steinbacher and the Lady Bulldogs (26-10-1) will try to advance to the state tournament when they go on the road to face Jefferson County on Friday at 3:30 p.m.

“Dana is our leader on the mound,” Bearden Coach Leonard Sams said. “She has earned the respect from her teammates and coaches.

“When Dana is on the mound, every player wants to up their game for her. Even as her coach, I don’t want to let her down. She has earned that kind of respect. She has that ‘it’ factor that will make her very successful in life.“

Added junior catcher Maxey House: “She’s a really great senior leader. Coming from her junior year, she’s done a really good job with keeping us unified as a team.

“Any conflicts that we’ve had, she’s done a really good job resolving them peacefully and not starting any big arguments. She carries the team.”

Dedication, as her coach mentioned, is also something that Steinbacher thinks she has expanded on during her senior season, and something that has led to her best season while at Bearden.

“I think I’ve gotten way more dedicated this year than any other year,” Steinbacher said. “I’ve gotten serious in what I expect of myself, and I hold myself to those expectations.”

Her dedication was evident in Monday night’s 4-1 win over Gibbs, the game that sent Bearden to sub-state.

Steinbacher said that her high point of her senior season was the win over Gibbs.

“We only went as far as regions my freshman year and the other two years we were put out fairly early,” Steinbacher said. “This year, we’ve already made it sub-state, and that already is an amazing accomplishment because Bearden hasn’t done that in years.”

Though it may be known that Steinbacher is a team leader on the field, she is also a leader off of it.

“Off the field, she is very funny and has such a great personality,” Coach Sams said. “It is great watching her cut loose and have fun [off the field].

“It’s amazing how she can be so focused on the field and so funny off the field.”