12--U Community First Bank Diamondbacks. Front row from left: Ashley Farrar, Georgia Belle Patterson, Kailey Boaz, Ashtyn Ballard, Baylea Smith, Aspen Smith; back row from left: coach Stephanie Hopper, Hannah McCullough, Kelcee Hopper, Shayla Franklin, coach Elwood Standlee, Hannah Morrell, Amanda Reyes, Kacie Gates, head coach Donnel Armstrong. Not pictured is team member Hailey Rivett. Photo by Michael Manley
BRANSON, MO. -- Berryville's five-team softball contingent in the Branson Rec. Softball League put up some very impressive numbers this season -- 50 games played; 47 wins; 1 tie; 2 losses. The league is part of the United States Specialty Sports Association (USSSA)
"We had a great season," reported Donnell Armstrong, head coach of the 12--U Diamondbacks. "Shayla Franklin and Hannah Morrell both hit inside-the-park grand slams this year."
"We were going to have just one 12--U team," said Tornadoes' coach Danny Kelley. "But we had 21 girls sign up --too many for one team. We didn't want a bunch of parents making the long drive [to Branson] and their kid not play. So we [fielded] two teams."
12--U Barrows Excavation Tornadoes. Front row from left: Anna Dalton, Karley Adams, Jeanessa Smith, Ame Money. Middle row from left: Kamyrn Smith, Audrey Rushing, Taylor Kelley, Linsey Earnest, Rachael Evans. Back row from left: coaches Danny Kelley, Neil Rushing, Shiloh Evans. Not pictured is team member Devin Stacey. Photo submitted
The Berryville teams playing in the Branson league were: 8--U 'Lil Diamonds, coached by Shannon Hill, sponsored by Kings River Physical Therapy; 10--U Warriors, head coach Neil Rushing, sponsored by Dianna's Tax Service; two 12--U teams -- the Diamondbacks, head coach Armstrong, sponsored by Community First Bank, and the Tornadoes, head coach Kelley, sponsored by Barrows Excavation; the 14--U Bombers, head coach Brian Harp, sponsored by Warren Welding.
Hill was a very busy softball-mom this year. "I coached the 'Lil Diamonds," Hill said. "But I also had another daughter playing on the Bombers."