As a 6-year-old girl, Savannah Groshong started playing softball with her younger sister, Sadie Groshong, for a local rec team.
Since then, the two have found success. Savannah, a junior shortstop at Waddell’s Canyon View High School, committed to play softball at Grand Canyon University on Sept. 19. As underclassmen last season, they topped Canyon View’s stat sheet in all offensive categories. This year’s season starts in the late winter.
Their journey has been interesting. The sisters began experimenting with sports and activities — from cheerleading to soccer — when they were 6. None of them impacted them the way softball did.
“Right when I stepped on the field, it just felt different from the other sports,” said Sadie, a sophomore second and third baseman at Canyon View. “I’ve been passionate about it ever since.”
Savannah was also instantly intrigued by the sport.
“I loved how intense and competitive it was, and I just started to really fall in love with it,” Savannah said.
Their father, Jeff Kirk, coached their first softball team and he immediately noticed that there was something special about them.
“Some things that were complicated for someone their age just came naturally for them,” Kirk said.
Although it was the Groshong sisters’ first time throwing a softball, Kirk said coaches and parents associated with the rec league, National Youth Sports, did not believe they were beginners.
“We got some negative feedback from the league at first because the coaches thought that Savannah and Sadie were actually club players playing in a rec league,” Kirk said.
Comparing then to now is crazy for the Groshongs.
“It feels really good to see all of our hard work paying off,” Savannah said.
As Savannah and Sadie refine their skills, they have been scouted by universities and club teams.
“Playing high school is a lot of fun, but it’s not as competitive as our club league, though,” Savannah said. “We just see it as another way to get better.”
The Groshongs give credit where credit is due, and that includes their role models who like their father, along with former teammate Rylee Holtorf and her father, AZ Storm coach Ronnie Holtorf.
Rylee, a freshman at the University of Washington, played with the Groshongs on the AZ Storm. They connected and made a big impact on the Groshong sisters.
“Rylee always pushed me to get better,” Savannah said. “She was always there for me.”
Sadie praised Ronnie and his type of coaching.
“He was always super honest, and he was a great coach,” Sadie said. “It wasn’t always what I wanted to hear, but it was what was needed, and it made me a better player and person.”
After playing softball for about half of their lives, the sisters have learned a lot, and there is a lot to be proud of for what they have accomplished. But no one is prouder than Kirk.
Their dad has been with them throughout their entire journey and has noticed a great deal of change, in and out of softball.
“The athletic journey is the one that is the most noticeable because of stats, but the growth I see at home is the one that I’m most proud of,” Kirk said. “They’ve emerged into leaders and have learned a lot of life lessons through softball.”
Savannah is looking forward to starting her college softball career at GCU.
“I really wanted to stay in Arizona, and that was a big part for me,” Savannah said about choosing Grand Canyon University. “I also just felt really comfortable while I was there and got really good vibes from all of the coaches. I really like the campus as well.”
Sadie and the family appreciated her choice to stay local so they can attend her home games.