10U All-Stars bring softball championship to Russellville
“Up, up on your feet, mighty Tigers can’t be beat” rang true in Russellville as the 10U All-Star softball team claimed its first state championship July 14 and was honored by the Russellville City Council July 22 for the accomplishment.
Head coach Heath Grimes said his team fell behind early in the championship game when Winfield led 6-0 after the first inning. By the time the bottom of the last inning rolled around, Russellville was down 6-5, and Grimes said he could tell his team was feeling defeated.
“I just talked to them about a positive mental attitude,” Grimes said. He encouraged his girls to “keep smiling and working hard and you can never give up – all of those characteristics I think are really important to life and to leaders.”
Russellville ended up winning 12-6 in the fourth inning on a run rule, and Grimes said amidst all of the championship celebration, he wanted his girls to understand their success was a testament to their perseverance.
“To me, it was a teaching moment. As soon as we won the championship, I immediately said, ‘Girls, this is why you keep fighting and you smile. This is why you don’t quit and have a positive attitude and don’t get mad because if any of that would’ve happened, we probably wouldn’t be here today,’” Grimes said.
Nine total teams competed in the three-day state tournament. The bracket was double-elimination, but Russellville was able to stay in the winners’ bracket throughout the tournament.
The All-Star team was composed of 10 girls from the three rec-league teams. Russellville Parks and Recreation maintenance programmer Frederick Mosley said the department saw an increase in girls interested in recreational softball this year.
Mosley said he hopes seeing the success of the 10U All-Star team will encourage other girls to join the Russellville softball program.
“For me to see those little girls put in the work and be able to do what they do, and they enjoy doing what they do, it’s real neat to me,” Mosley said. “I’m just glad they won and represented the City of Russellville.”