Classmates see tourney title as fitting final prep memory
Posted: Friday, April 26, 2013 12:00 pm
By RANDY CAVIN
This is the one the seniors on the Westview softball team want the most.
The Maddie Memorial Softball Tournament is set to begin on Friday at the Martin Softball complex and, for this group of seniors, it is now or never.
Madison Fagan, who the tournament is name after, would have been a senior and set to graduate this year, but her life was tragically cut short on Sept. 16, 2006. Fagan was out selling coupon books for a school fundraiser when lightning struck her.
So, the five seniors want to win this year’s tournament like no other to honor Fagan’s memory. No Lady Charger wants to win it more than her best friend, Meagan Prince. Both began playing T-ball at the same time and quickly became the best of friends.
“We had played softball together since our dads coached together from T-ball to 12-and-under and travel ball,” Prince said. “As we got older, we got serious about softball. I pitched and she caught for me.
“With this being her graduating class, I am positive she would be playing softball if she was still with us. I want to win this. I want to go out with a win.”
Prince gives the experienced Lady Chargers an excellent shot at winning the tournament with her pitching. She set a school and tournament record for most strikeouts in a single game with 22 against Crockett County last year.
Westview had won the tournament three consecutive years until Dyersburg eliminated the Lady Chargers in the semifinals. Dyersburg is one of the teams participating in this year’s tournament. This just gives Prince and the rest of the Lady Chargers an added incentive to win it.
“This gives us another reason to want to win it,” Prince said. “But, I mainly want to win it for Madison.”
Westview seniors Alex Hughey and Kayla Guthrie want to do well in the tournament this year and go out with a win in remembrance of Fagan. Both players have fond memories of her and how competitive she was on the softball field.
“She was always the one person people wanted to be around,” Hughey said. “Madison was always a very friendly person. She was about sportsmanship all the time.”
Guthrie said Fagan is the one person who would pick her teammates up when things were not going so well.
“She was very cheerful and always picked everybody up,” Guthrie said. “She was a team player and believed in sportsmanship. She loved to win and was very competitive, but in a good way. We really want to win the tournament this year for her.”
Both Hughey and Guthrie have getting even on their minds as both remember all too well what happened in last year’s tournament.
“We are going for revenge this year,” Hughey said. “We are going to win it for her this year. We hope the rally mouse shows back up this year. We definitely need him.”
“We will do the best we can for Madison,” Guthrie said. “That would be great if the rally mouse showed back up.”
A field mouse wandered into the outfield in one of the early Saturday games that Westview played in last year.
The team has referred to the mouse as the ‘Rally Mouse’ ever since, and Prince even named the mouse Skittles.
Head coach Jessica Hightower realizes how much the seniors want to win the Maddie Memorial Tournament, and she is hopeful her team will play like they are capable of when action begins on Friday.
“We kind of ran out of gas last year,” Hightower said. “I do not think we will this year. I am glad the girls are excited. As a coach, all I can do is inspire and motivate them. They also have to have that push and that drive. They have that this year.”
This year’s field will have eight teams in the tournament in two pools.
Published in The WCP 4.25.13