BRISTOL, Va. — The sky rumbled all around Battle Hill, but the annual FCA East vs. West all-star softball game continued with little more than a sprinkle. In game one, the West team, led by Ridgeview pitcher Nikole Counts, shellacked the East in a 14-0 shut out. Game two saw another West victory, 3-1.
King College signee Counts got to team up with her future Tornado teammate in John Battle’s star short stop Haylee Dye as well as Eastside’s Reiley McCoy.
“Knowing that I get to represent Ridgeview and God at the same time is just a blessing to me,” Counts said. “Playing with all of these girls who love softball as much as I do is such an amazing feeling. I just couldn’t stop smiling from the moment I stepped on the field.”
Counts was also voted as MVP of the West team in the first game.
Battle first year head coach Hannah Cress was excited to host this year’s game as well as to coach the West team that featured three of her players.
“This is my all-time favorite thing to do,” Cress said. “I played in this game after high school and I loved it. To be asked to coach in this is an absolute honor. This is my first senior group, so that is bittersweet to me.”
One of the focuses of the FCA events is to be able to get on-the-field adversaries into a situation where they can work together and get to know each other on a personal level. In the all-star games, there is the excitement of taking some of the best that these teams have to offer and mixing them up.
“That’s always fun. You get all of these kids and they are all competitors. They’re all such good ball players and they play together well. Anytime you can be involved in an FCA event, it is just so much fun for these kids,” Cress said.
Reiley McCoy enjoyed the honor of being the volleyball, basketball and now softball’s lone senior for the Lady Spartans. She has always enjoyed the FCA events.
“This means a lot to play for the Lord and put on this jersey one last time,” McCoy said. “I am so glad to have this opportunity. This brings me so much happiness.”
The home run derby was held between the two games. The West’s Ashley Smith (Rye Cove) tied with the East’s Julia Street (Patrick Henry) to go into a final round. Smith won with a resounding five home runs.