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Saturday Morning Quarterback
May 15, 2007 12:00 am
If Friendship Christian is playing softball, you can bet Linda Powell is keeping score from her lawn chair just outside the Lady Commander dugout.
Becky Cardiff uses her lawn chair to get a front-row view at every Mt. Juliet softball contest.
They were there when their daughters were playing and they're still there now that their pride and joy is coaching.
When Erica Powell returned to Friendship as coach last summer, a decade after graduating from FCS, no one was happier than her mom.
"When I was in high school, she never missed one single game that I played in – basketball, softball or volleyball," Erica Powell said while watching Mt. Juliet take on Beech in the District 9-AAA final at Wilson Central. "And since I've been back, she hasn't missed any game until [Thursday] when she was scouting for me on two other teams."
Linda Powell kept the Lady Commander scorebook when Erica and little sister Kasi played for Randy Sampson a decade ago. And she decides the hits and errors now for her daughter.
"She keeps the stats exactly like I want to keep them," Erica said. "She coached for 30 years and so did my grandpa so it's kind of been in our family."
Linda Powell probably knows as much softball as anyone I know. During a game at Watertown a decade ago, one of the sisters [Erica doesn't remember the play, so it was probably Kasi], singled but was called out after passing first base on an obscure rule I had never seen called before or since. But instead of screaming and yelling at the injustice done to her daughter, the first thing Linda said was, "That was the right call". And I've seen her yell at the umpire on other calls.
"My mom will not argue if we do something wrong," Erica said. "When we were pitching or Kasi was catching, she was always the first one to tell us when we did something wrong or we made a mistake because she knows the game as well as anybody I know."
Erica Powell played Little League softball in Mt. Juliet with Kacey Cardiff [Pedigo], whom she was watching coach the Lady Bears the past couple of nights. Becky was right there too, as she has been throughout her daughter's playing and coaching career.
"Mama's not a quitter, that's where I got mine from," Kacey said during one of last night's lightning delays at Central. "Mama's in it for the long haul."
The former Becky Lannom played basketball for Campbell Brandon early in the Hall of Fame coach's tenure at Lebanon. I didn't see her play, but I'm sure she played with grit and tenacity evident in her daughter as a player at Mt. Juliet and Cumberland and now as a coach. Kacey is her mama's daughter.
"I get a lot of what you see from Mama and Daddy," Kacey said. "I don't yell, I don't scream – that's Mama. I hit for the cycle when I was in high school, and everybody in the stands was up cheering. And I looked at Mama and she was sitting. I said, 'Why aren't you cheering?' And she said, 'You did your job'.
"I get a lot of that from her."
The two moms have something else in common with both coaches.
"My mama's my best friend," Kacey said. "I wouldn't know what to do without her."
"She's my best friend," Erica said. "I love her very much and we've gotten very close since I've been back and she'll continue to be at every single game because she loves softball so."
Sports Editor Andy Reed can be reached at 444-3952 ext. 17 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.