Keith girls try softball in city league

Published 6:58 pm Wednesday, June 15, 2016

This past season, Keith Middle/High School brought back its baseball team for the first time since 1991.  

While there was no official softball team to join the baseball team, girls at Keith aged 13-15 were still able to play softball in a different way.

With the help of Keith baseball coach Anthony Lumpkin and Gerald Barron, the city of Selma’s baseball and softball director, many girls from Keith participated in the 13-15 Selma city softball league this past season.

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“For a lot of the girls, it was their first time out, but as the year progressed, they showed a lot of improvement,” Lumpkin said.

At Keith there’s volleyball in the fall and basketball in the winter, but track and field is the only sport girls can participate in during the spring.

Barron said he was glad to offer Keith a chance to play in the Selma city league this year.

“I thought it would help them out as far as giving their kids experience, just wanting to play softball,” Barron said.

Lumpkin felt it was necessary for the girls at Keith to have an opportunity to play softball because many of them had been asking, although there were only two who had played before.

The school has been successful in girls’ basketball recently, but not every girl loves basketball. There were other girls in the school who wanted to take a step toward making the school successful in another sport.

“It just showed that our girls are competitive other than just basketball,” Lumpkin said. “They wanted it, and they stayed on me about it.”

Nearly 20 softball players participated in the Selma city recreation team, and Lumpkin said there was a strong commitment level from the team throughout the season.

Lumpkin was impressed many of the players stayed with softball, since they were up against many teams that had much more experience.

“They all stuck with it,” Lumpkin said. “They went out and did what they could do, and it didn’t turn out bad. It turned out pretty good.”

While Keith may still be years away from starting a softball program of its own, Barron said the Keith girls are welcome to be a part of the recreational league next season.

“We’ll still be there to help them improve and hopefully down the road, they’ll get one,” Barron said.