|Lady Charger duo on opposite all-star sides |
|Posted: Tuesday, June 15, 2010 3:22 pm |
Teammates since the age of 11, recent Westview Lady Charger graduates and softball standouts Shanna Chappell and Kelly Gaston were in uncharted territory as foes in the inaugural West Tennessee High School All-Star Classic Wednesday in Jackson.
All-Stars — Former Westview Lady Chargers (from left) Shanna Chappell and Kelly Gaston participated in the inaugural West Tennessee High School All-Star Classic softball game Wednesday in Jackson. Chappell was named the game’s Most Outstanding Pitcher
When the pool of all-star talent was divided, the Westview pair ended up in opposite dugouts. Chappell was placed on the eventual winning Yellow team, while Gaston was across the diamond with the Blue team. The Yellow squad plated all five of its runs in the third inning en route to the 5-0 victory.
“It was weird. I kept wanting to cheer for her,” Gaston admitted of playing against her former teammate. “I moved here when I was 11, and we’ve been on the same teams since then. We were on the same travel team — the Martin Heat, the same middle school team and the same high school team.”
The two never actually squared off in the Classic. Gaston got the start in left field for Blue and played three innings, finishing her time in the field and at the plate before Chappell got her turn in the pitcher’s circle for Yellow.
The right-handed hurler, who will play next season at Bryan College, was not eager to face the speedy, left-handed hitting Gaston.
“I didn’t want to. I’m scared of her. She’s a good slap hitter,” Chappell admitted with a smile.
Gaston, who verbally committed to play softball at Jackson State during the day, took the opposite angle.
“I wanted to (bat against Chappell), just to see how I could do. I’ve batted against her in practice, but coach would usually tell her to keep it down around 50 (mph),” Gaston noted.
The outfielder was true to her high school teammate, not giving up any batting tips about Chappell to her new Blue friends.
“I just told them she was good,” she said.
Gaston did show off her slap hitting skills by smacking a double to the gap in left center field to lead off the third inning. She was eventually erased from the base paths on a force out.
Gaston grinned as she described her extra-base swing, “It was one of those sweet ones.”
The Yellow team took advantage of reliever Paige French from Dyer County High School in the top of the third. USJ’s Katie Beth Fesmier knocked a RBI double and scored on a two-run blast over the left field fence by Tiffany Keck from Lexington High School in their five-run eruption.
Sarah Elizabeth Cousar, from Covington, started for the Yellow and eventually took MVP honors for claiming the mound win.
Chappell relieved Cousar and gave a performance worthy of the Most Outstanding Pitcher Award she received after the game. The righty struck out four, walked one and the only hit she allowed in three innings was a nubber off the plate.
“It was unexpected,” Chappell said of her honor.
“It was an honor to represent Westview again because we’ve had such a great past. It was a great opportunity,” Chappell stated.