Softball Play Day brings balanced local competition
By Amanda Lowrance
Junior high softball competition has leveled out this year with each team looking tough.
Last Saturday, the county softball teams Ramer, Selmer, Michie, and Bethel Springs gathered for a day of play on their annual Softball Play Day at North Park in Selmer.
Each team had a chance to play every team that participated, even though there were humid and rainy conditions. The games had special rules to cut down the amount of time spent in each game and the teams switched fields accordingly.
“I am very proud of my bunch,” said Selmer Coach Mellanie Surratt. “I think they played hard at different combinations. That’s what it’s all about—seeing where everybody’s at and then settling in. I think that with all the teams that’s how it is; well at least from what I saw.”
Last year, the Selmer Lady Lions had the best season record, but ten of their players have been replaced by four. One standout is the one and only sixth grader, Alexis Trice, who has brought some additional speed to the team.
Molly Grace King, Mollie Nash, Kaitlyn West, Hayley Hearnsberger, Hailey Dawson, Alayna Ward, Jocelyn Smith, Selika McCord, Ansley Craif, Allie Ray, and Olivia Mitchell return to Selmer and look forward to some more on the field.
“This gave everybody the chance to play and across the board I think it’s going to be pretty even this year, a good race,” said Surratt.
One instance, with the bases loaded, Ramer hitter, Chloe Swann stepped up and knocked a grounder to centerfield inching the Lady Eagles closer to a win against Selmer.
“I was pleased with my team’s hustle and positive attitude,” said Jobe. “We will continue to work on our hitting and defense. I thought the play day went very well. All of the schools were well-represented, and it was a good experience for us.”
Ramer lost five girls, but gained six. Most of the experience stays on the field with returning players; Halle Jobe, Sara Steen, Madi Rose Hammock, Abbie and Allison Sweat, Anna Paige Youngblood, Haley Sellers, Allison Sides, Chloe Swann, Olivia Harris, and Sarah Brown.
“I have a hard-working group of girls,” said Jobe, “and I’m looking forward to the upcoming season.”
In the game against Ramer, Michie’s Margie Coleman made a hit to left field bringing in three runners and making an infield homerun. In the second inning #23 steals second and is brought home along with another runner with an infield homerun by Lauren Rhodes.
The Michie Lady Blue Devils have six returning and nine new players after losing eight.
“This is a good day to let all the players play, relax, and have fun before the season begins,” said Alicia Day. “I’m proud of all my players and their effort in Saturday’s game.”
Bethel Springs Lady Rebels has had the biggest turn around since last year, winning all three games played.
New head coach Stacy Volner has 11 new players joining her. Only four players return: Macey Rowland, Meghan McCalvin, Montana Pettigrew, and Emily Martin.
“My first year and I am excited,” said Volner. “I felt good overall. There is still a lot of stuff to work on and we are young, like I said. We are going to have a tough competition.”
The official season began last Tuesday with Michie versus Bethel Springs at North Park and Selmer at Ramer. Read the results in next week’s copy of the Independent Appeal.