Fall isn’t just for football. For eight local girls, fall is also an excellent opportunity to play softball.
These girls, ranging in age from nine to 17, are playing on various travel teams across northern Mississippi and even in Tennessee.
This group of girls compete in the traveling teams for the experience and for the competition, especially as the number of local girls playing in the Magnolia Youth League is declining.
Softball dad Taylor Trusty notes the number of older girls playing softball is on the decline, not only in Water Valley but also in surrounding towns.
“This year we had only one team in the 11-12 year-old division at Crawford Sports Complex,” Trusty explains. In earlier age divisions; 7 -8 year old and 9-10 year old, there are enough players to field four teams to play in the Magnolia Youth League.
“We would like to see some third, fourth and fifth graders get involved in the youth league,” Trusty added. Many of these girls could earn valuable experience that would ultimately enhance the Water Valley High School softball team.
“We have a very successful boys’ program at Crawford,” Trusty explains. “Look at what the boys do at the high school level,” Trusty adds.
Trusty believes the talent and interest in the community is present, citing the number of local girls currently competing on fall travel teams. And at the high school level, the softball team will play their second season on a brand new field. This field was only made possible from the community’s support.
The local rooster of softball competitors playing fall ball include:
• Anna Mills Avant plays for the Mississippi Eclipse nine and ten year-old team in Batesville. She plays first base and pitcher. She is the daughter of Johnny and Missy Avant.
• Ashley Phillips competes with the Germantown Red Devils. She competes in a tournament just about every weekend. She also plays for the Blue Devil team, and has committed to play fast-pitch softball with Mississippi State University. A senior, she is the daughter of Rodney and Darlene Phillips.
• Haley Vance plays shortstop and third base for Raisin Cane in Nettleton. She is a junior and also plays on the high school team. Haley is the daughter of Roy and Vicky Vance.
• Taylor Anne Trusty plays for the Hotshotz. She pitches and is a utility player for the team. The 12 year-old is the daughter of Taylor and Lynne Trusty.
• Hannah Higdon also plays for the Mississippi Eclipse nine-and 10 year-old team in Batesville. She is 10 years old and plays left field and center field. She is the daughter of Trea and Margaret Higdon.
• Shade Epes plays for the Mississippi Eclipse 2, 14 and under team out of Batesville. She is a catcher. Shade is the daughter of Pierce and Andi Epes. She is 14 years-old. She competes on the Blue Devil fast pitch softball team.
• Tyler Epes also plays for the Mississippi Eclipse 2 team in Batesville. She is a pitcher, plus plays first base and outfield. She is 14 years old and the daughter of Pierce and Andi Epes. Tyler also plays on the Blue Devil softball team.
• Bree Thompson competes with the Illusions 14 and under team out of Southaven. She is an outfield and utility player. Bree is the daughter of Steve and Theresa Thompson. She also competes on the Blue Devil fast pitch softball team.