Local stars help East sweep twin-bill from West in 51st All-Star Softball Classic
Salem's Chelsea Taylor may have walked away with the East's Most Outstanding Player award during the 51st annual Tyson/Wal-Mart All-Star Softball Classic, but her head coach, Eric Chambers, no doubt walked away with the Most Outstanding Celebration award after his East squad swept a doubleheader from the West June 21 at the LadyBack Yard in Fayetteville.
Making good on a friendly wager he placed with his East All-Stars midway through the second game, Chambers took to the centerfield grass at the conclusion of game two and cut loose with his own version of The Worm.
"I call it The Dolphin, because I get so high off the ground," he said. "Some people call it The Worm. It was a promise I made to the kids if we swept."
And sweep the East did, coming behind to win game one 4-1, before finishing the evening off with a 12-7 victory in the nightcap.
Taylor had a huge outing in game two, driving in four runs while scoring another two in the East's five-run win.
Taylor, who normally held down catching duties for the Lady Hounds this season, also logged time at third base in both games of the All-Star twin-bill. Not alone, Taylor was joined by Salem's Carrie Johnson, an All-Conference and All-Regional shortstop for the Lady Greyhounds, who took care of first base at LadyBack Yard. Another outstanding Lady Greyhound, hurler Leslie Taylor, was also part of the festivities as East team manager.
Another player with local ties, Mammoth Spring's Jodie Walsh, also played a big part in the East's clean sweep, as she came up big late in game one.
It was all West through the first six innings of the first game, as the East had failed to collect a hit and trailed 1-0 heading into the top of the seventh.
Walsh, who came in midway through game one to play left field, led things off with a base-on-balls. Chelsey Reeves followed with another walk before Walsh scored the game-tying run on an RBI-single from Kayla Pitts. The East went on to cross the plate three more times in the frame to post a 4-1 win.
In the nightcap, Taylor took care of business early for the East, as she smacked a bases-clearing three-run hit in the first inning to help her squad jump on top 4-2. Taylor later crossed the plate in the frame to make it 5-2 East. She also notched another ribbie in the East's three-run third inning. Johnson added a base hit in game two, as the East survived to win a contest that saw both teams combine for 10 errors.