Softball all-stars get double duty

By Brandon Speck/NEMS Daily Journal

Rachel Elder will have to hit a softball with a high arc, then fight off fastballs nine innings later.
Elder is one of 10 players on both the slowpitch and fastpitch rosters for tonight’s Robertson’s Sportswear Northeast Mississippi Softball Coaches Association All-Star Games.
The 6th annual event is tonight at Tupelo High School with the East vs. West slowpitch game scheduled for 5 p.m. The fastpitch game is at 6:30.
“It may be a little tough, but good softball players learn to adjust,” Elder said.
Elder, a catcher and utility player, has shown she can adjust. The Itawamba CC signee hit .422 for East Union with 26 RBI last season. She had four triples and stole 6 of 6 bases.
One of her fastpitch team coaches is East Union’s Brad Brown.
Brown and Ripley’s Brent Kuhl will coach the West team against East coach Noah Hamilton of Mantachie and Itawamba’s Rodney Moore.
“I’m sure she’ll be out front of a few (after the slowpitch game),” Brown said, then laughed. “She’ll have a little bit of an adjustment but I don’t think it will be that bad.”
All-stars listed on both slowpitch and fastpitch rosters include Nettleton’s Makenzie Hawkins and Korie Beth Leach, Paige Earnest (Amory), Colbie Walls (Houlka), Haley Gravat (Houston), Erica Clifton (Walnut) Dana Glisson (Kossuth), Emilee Henderson (Tishomingo County) and Gracie Michael (Wheeler).
“I think it will be competitive. It’s the best softball players,” Elder said. “It should be fun too.”
Last June at Veteran’s Park, the East won the fastpitch game and the West won in slowpitch.
Opening ceremonies will take place at 4:45 p.m. for slowpitch and at 6:15 for fastpitch.
“I think it’s a good opportunity for the girls to keep on playing,” Amory coach Amir Hunt said. “It’s an opportunity to relax and have fun, but they’ll give it all they’ve got. They want to win. It will be competitive and fun for everybody involved.”
brandon.speck@journalinc.com