Wilson's finest shine in all-star softball game

The Middle Tennessee Softball Coaches' Association held an all-star game Wednesday featuring a team from Tennessee and a team from Kentucky. Several players from Wilson County hit the diamond. The Tennessee team lost to Kentucky in a tiebreaker. Each team won a game, but Kentucky pulled ou...
Jun 27, 2013
 Photo: Submitted to The Democrat

Lauren Stavinoga bats in the home run derby Wednesday. She won by hitting a shot off the top of Middle Tennessee State University’s scoreboard.

The Middle Tennessee Softball Coaches' Association held an all-star game Wednesday featuring a team from Tennessee and a team from Kentucky. Several players from Wilson County hit the diamond.

The Tennessee team lost to Kentucky in a tiebreaker. Each team won a game, but Kentucky pulled out the win in the second half of the tiebreaker format.

Lauren Stavinoga, who plays on the Wilson Central High School squad, was a participant on the Tennessee team. She said it was a lot of fun to play.

"I knew a lot of the girls so it was fun to hang out with them," Stavinoga said. She noted that a couple of the players on the all star team were players from Mt. Juliet High School's team, Lauren Woodard and Lauren Payne, and "it was definitely different playing on the same team with them instead of against them."

She said hearing her high school rivals cheering for her was something she had to get used to. "They are pretty good friends, so we had fun."

Other girls from Wilson County playing on the Tennessee team included Allie Bennett, Madison Zoeller, Austyn Whaley and Jessica Twaddle.

Following the series, a home run derby was held that featured three girls from each team. It was Stavinoga's first time in a home run derby that was not part of her team practices at Wilson Central. She came out on top.

The derby was played in rounds, said Stavinoga. Each participant got 10 swings in the first round and those who hit a home run in that round advanced to the next until a winner was crowned. She said in the first round, she and a friend each hit two, and there were a pair from the Kentucky team that also had to long balls.

"It was really hard because the wind was blowing back toward home plate so it was hard to hit them over," she said, adding "I was kinda disappointed because I hit five or six in practice."

Still, having had fun participating in her first derby, she said she would enter another if given the chance. Now, she is looking toward her future on the softball diamond.

"I just can't wait to play college ball," Stavinoga said.

She will be attending the University of Alabama-Huntsville this fall.

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