Blythe’s last stand in Aruba
Published 10:26 pm Wednesday, December 30, 2015
Former King’s Fork High School softball standout Megan Blythe has represented the United States on the diamond in Italy, and now she is turning her sights to Aruba.
Blythe, now a senior in college, was given her opportunity to play in Italy this summer by her coach at the West Virginia University Institute of Technology, Amber Affholter.
Affholter coached and hand-picked a team for an organization called USA Athletes International, which has been participating in international competition since 1992.
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Originally the organization provided overseas playing opportunities for baseball players. It now supports a total of 15 different sports in 25 different nations.
Blythe was one of three girls that Affholter chose from among her WVU Tech players, and they meshed extraordinarily well with their teammates from other schools, powering the USAAI squad to an undefeated run in Italy.
“After you’ve gone on the first trip, they kind of offer you another round if you want to go,” Blythe said of USAAI. There are multiple trips that happen each year to places like Australia, Italy, Aruba and Amsterdam. “If you want to, you can pick which one you want to go to.”
As for why she chose Aruba, Blythe said, “Since I’m on the coast, I love tropical (environments), so that was a big portion of it. Another reason is some of the girls I play with, they are going, so it would be nice to go with girls I know. And it was one of the less expensive trips.”
Blythe is pursuing several avenues to raise money so she can go, including working various jobs and creating a www.GoFundMe.com page, which allows anyone to donate amounts of their choosing.
Because this trip will follow her senior season, her reason for wanting to participate is a bit different from what it was when she went to Italy.
She said she wanted to go on the Aruba trip because of “the fact that it’s going to be my last chance to get somewhat official competitive gaming in. After I graduate, I’ll be able to play in little games and stuff like that, but this is my last chance to be extremely competitive and work for a final goal.”
Affholter said, “I just hope that she’s able to leave everything on the field and play her last games after her college career and be successful.”
Affholter will once again be her coach, and this time, there will five players from WVU Tech going, including Blythe.
The trip will run June 4-11, 2016, and it will feature four game days. When Blythe and her teammates are not on the diamond, they will have the opportunity to go to the beach, tour the area and experience different elements of Aruban culture.
For those interested, visit www.GoFundMe.com/gg882mv8 to donate money to help Blythe make the trip.