Local high school softball players find closure

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Most of the local high school softball programs hadn’t even played a district game when the 2020 season was suspended due to COVID-19.

As it turns out, those local seniors would never play a district game ever again, all without a proper senior night sendoff.

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That is until tonight when those recent graduates got back together for one last ride.

Over at the D’Iberville Sports Complex 20 players get the chance to go out on their terms, wearing their old jerseys for the occasion.

Retired coaches Tommy Castanedo from St. Patrick and Bruce Blaker from OLA volunteering to coach the game, umpires volunteering to call the game, and even a few college coaches in the stands.

Here’s the mood prior to first pitch.  Hancock Shortstop Ashley Sawyer said, “I’m excited because I finally get to have closure on my senior season, and I’m ready to move on after this game to my college career.”

Ocean Springs Right Fielder/ Pitcher Natalie Hodge said, “I’m not playing in college, so this last game is a chance for me just to go out on my best terms. Our last game for high school didn’t end very well, so I’m just looking to do my best tonight.”

Organizer Eric Bland said, “For a lot of them, this will be the last time they get to play softball. For some of them, they’re going to go on to college and play. But for probably half of them, this will be the last time they get to play and so it’s just a great opportunity for them. When the season got cut short, they didn’t know that was going to be their last game. Now, they know this will be their last game they get to play.”

West over East 17-12.