UC duo, SF’s Sisson not odd among elite

UC duo, SF’s Sisson not odd among elite
UC duo, SF’s Sisson not odd among elite

Union City’s Taylor H argrove (in blue) and Angela Chesteen (in gold) smile as the duo competes against one another on Wednesday.
JACKSON — It was a 2-on-1 attack in terms of the Obion County participants at the second annual West Tennessee High School Softball All-Star Game on Wednesday.
South Fulton’s Paxton Sisson and Union City’s Taylor Hargrove were part of the Blue team, which bested the Gold team (the squad that Lady Twister Angela Chesteen was on) 6-1.
It was just the first of many odd occurrences involving the trio on Wednesday, but all was done in good glitter unit game fun.
“It felt good to just be out there having fun,” said Sisson, who has played for noted taskmaster Curt Lee from her seventh-grade season on. “I always have tried to have fun, but it was nice to not have any pressure.”
Surprisingly, Lee, who was in attendance, had a like attitude as he enjoyed watching Sisson play.
“It was a rare occurrence for me to get to watch her play and not have to worry about coaching,” Lee said. “I’ve had that opportunity in summer ball a little, but not a whole lot.
“It was an enjoyable see her play and be just a spectator. I was blessed to have coached her and she was a blessing to our team and community in so many ways. She’s the most loyal player I’ve ever coached and her commitment is second to none.”
Sisson — who hit .349 this season had a .482 slugging percentage — was also second to none in terms of being the first player to score at Wednesday’s All-Star game.
The Devilette backstop took four straight pitches for a walk to lead off the second inning.
However, there was no timeout call for Sisson as SF fans might expect.
Instead, the catcher was left in the game and not pulled for a courtesy runner.
“I don’t think I’ve run the bases since seventh grade,” Sisson joked after she returned to the dugout. “I was out there thinking, I wish Coach Lee were out here so I could get a courtesy runner.”
Nonetheless, Sisson dashed to second as Trinity Christian Academy’s Shelly Jones dropped down a perfect sacrifice bunt and moved to third on a wild pitch.
From there, Sisson eventually jogged home to score the game’s first run as the next three Blue batters were walked.
By the end of the second inning, the Blue team had scored two runs — enough firepower to win the contest.
While Sisson was doing the unusual task of running the bases, Chesteen and Hargrove had to keep quiet when the other was attempting a defensive play or hitting as the Union City duo competed against one another.
“She’s my best friend and it was hard not to yell for her when she was hitting,” said Chesteen, who played the entire seven innings at third base for the Gold squad.
Hargrove, who singled up the middle in the fifth inning and ended up stranded at third base alongside her high school teammate, agreed and told that she had to catch herself when she was about to encourage Chesteen for her effort on attempting to field a barely-foul ball down the third-base line early in the contest.
Aside from teammates facing one another and rivals teaming together, a couple of other occurrences might stand out to local fans as an oddities.
Hargrove was sent out to play second base as the fifth inning began.
“I have never played second base,” Hargrove said. “I was nervous and I just kept trying to think what Allison Bruff (a former Union City second baseman) used to do and I tried to be in the places I thought she would be.”
Meanwhile, Sisson was pulled from the game and given a three-inning break — something almost unheard of during her Devilette career.
“I didn’t like sitting and watching,” the 2010 All-Stater said. “It was a different perspective, I guess, but I’d rather be playing.”
Hargrove, who drove in 25 runs during the spring and had a .960 fielding percentage, will play college softball at Union University, where she plans to major in business administration.
Sisson, who gunned down a would-be basestealer in the first inning on Wednesday, plans to focus on biology and criminal justice during her college studies. Chesteen is set to attend the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and major in graphic arts.
Both Sisson and Chesteen — a .340 hitter last season — told The Messenger they plan to play summer league softball this year. Neither would rule out the possibility of playing at the college level if an opportunity came along.

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