ACCS trio to play in All-Star contest

Published 12:00 am Monday, May 31, 2004

At 5, competition is of little significance to an individual.

Without question the effects of winning and losing can impact a youth, but either way emotions are usually tamed with a trip up to a drive-thru window.

Adams Christian seniors April Boyd, Krystal Truitt and Kelsie Ward have played on the same teams since they were 5.

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Back then the only skill needed was concentrating enough to hit a ball off a tee.

The particulars of the game were meaningless then, but as the players aged and experienced success, the art of gamesmanship took on a whole new face.

The trio, which represents AC in the Mississippi Private School Association slow-pitch softball All-Star game at Traceway Park in Clinton at 11 a.m. today, played together in several United States Specialty Sports Association World Series and won two slow-pitch state championships while Rebels.

They’ll close out a memorable career with today’s doubleheader that features players from all three MPSA classes.

&uot;I’m really glad all three of us can do it,&uot; said Truitt, who hit 471 with eight doubles, four triples and a homer in 2004 while playing second base.

After struggling during the brunt of the regular season, AC turned it on during the state playoffs, which was held in its backyard at the Natchez-Adams Girls Softball Complex earlier this month.

Entering the MPSA AA-AAA state tourney with an 8-10 record pushed rival Parklane to an 11th and deciding game before the Pioneers prevailed 4-3, denying AC its second straight title and third in the last four years.

The Rebels played seven consecutive games that sweltering day, but fought courageously despite coming up on the short end.

&uot;I think we did very well considering we played seven games that day,&uot; said Ward, AC’s ace in the circle who batted .364 with three doubles. &uot;We wanted to win it so bad. Every person has the capabilities to play as hard as they can to reach that goal.&uot;

Ward will add today’s All-Star game to her scrapbook of memories, which includes playing with sister Neely, who is four years older than she, at AC and the pair of state crowns.

She said despite this season’s rough ride on the diamond, she never felt closer to a Rebel team during her four years.

Truitt echoed her teammate’s sentiments, admitting the drive to win was prevalent, but at times it took a back seat to enjoy a last hurrah for most.

Hopefully, however, today will not be the last game for Boyd, who has expressed interest in playing fast-pitch at the collegiate level despite AC never having fielded a fast-pitch team.

&uot;You have to have quicker hands; your stance is different; you have to spread your feet more; be up closer in the batter’s box,&uot; said Boyd describing the main differences between the two. &uot;Most left-handed hitters have to learn how to slap-hit, but that’s something I haven’t worked on yet.&uot;

The senior shortstop, who batted .445 with six doubles, three triples and two homers this past year, is already looking at East Central Community College in Decatur.

She enlisted the help of family and friends to sharpen up enough in an attempt to impress ECCC head coach Scott Hill.

&uot;Both of my (ACCS) coaches got out there and worked with me and my dad filmed me hitting,&uot; Boyd said. &uot;I’m gonna work as hard as I can because I really want to play.&uot;

AC is one of three schools to place three players on the White team today. Claiborne Academy and Amite School Center are the other two.

Lamar placed three players on the Blue team, while Kemper Academy leads both squads with six representatives.

&uot;We’re such good players that if you combine all of us on one team it should be awesome,&uot; Ward said of the White team. &uot;Since we’ve been playing against these girls for four years, it’ll be fun to finally be on one team.&uot;