Calhoun softball players visit Series
By Ashley Hargrove
Thanks to a Christmas present from Stevie Griffin’s dad, Griffin and two of her softball teammates from Calhoun Community College got the chance to experience something every softball player dreams about.
Griffin and teammates Lacey Keenum and Jenia Stephenson traveled to Oklahoma City at the end of May for the NCAA Division I College World Series. Keenum said the trip was a nice way to end their softball career.
“The whole trip was just a neat experience,” Keenum said. “It was neat to see that the girls who were playing were around my age and knowing that I could be friends with them.”
The girls did more than watch. They did a little cheering, too. Keenum added the only odd thing about the whole trip was that both of the teams they were cheering — Arizona and Tennessee — ended up in the championship game.
“There was a lot of debating,” Keenum said. “We never really thought that both of the teams we were cheering for would make it that far. Eventually we just decided to cheer for Tennessee.”
The three girls ended up getting a surprise while cheering at one Tennessee game. They sat directly behind Tennessee head football coach Philip Fulmer.
Before the game was over, they managed to get a quick photo with the coach whom many in Alabama dislike.
“He was a really nice guy,” Keenum said. “He asked us where we were from, and we told him Alabama. He just kind of gave us one of those looks jokingly. The next day he saw us he said ‘there’s my Alabama girls.’ ”
Fulmer wasn’t the only Tennessee coach the girls got to meet.
They met Pat Summitt, head coach of the women’s basketball team, as well. Although they didn’t get a picture with her, they did get an autograph.
The girls also managed to get into the national spotlight a few times, at least as fans in the stands.
“We made friends with the camera woman,” Keenum said. “At first we were just trying really hard to get on. Then we managed to get on so much that by the end of the week if we didn’t end up on the TV, we were mad.”
Keenum added that with all of the fun they had this year, they’re already gearing up for next year’s tournament.
“The whole experience was amazing. It was neat to be there and see them live and in person. This was one of the best experiences of my life. We’re already planning to go back next year and years to come.”
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