WHITEHOUSE, TX (KLTV) -
Beginning tomorrow, the City of Tyler will host the NCAA Division III softball championship. With East Texas in their name, the ETBU Lady Tigers will be the crowd favorite over the next week. Before that though, the Lady Tigers made some new young friends this morning in Whitehouse.
Just one day from the Division III Championship, instead of getting in extra batting practice, the East Texas Baptist Softball team was participating in community service, playing kickball with the special education classes at Stanton-Smith Elementary..
"They don't always get the opportunity to play with other people like that," senior pitcher Shelby Parker said. "Just the thought of coming out here and having so much fun with them, it really brightens our day."
Senior second baseman Lacy Liles added, "They are just so much fun to interact with. They are happy spirits, and we just love being around them. It's just great to give back."
Playing kickball with the kids and not being around softball is also beneficial to the Lady Tigers who are about to play in the biggest games of their lives.
"It takes our mind off of all the stress and worry and everything," Liles said. Parker added,"Last night the ride coming in was a little stressful, just thinking a little bit too much and this day is going to be pretty fun."
When it is time to play, you won't find a tighter team than ETBU.
"I've grown so close with these girls over the season, and its been a great opportunity to make it so far with these girls that I love," freshman first baseman Lacey Lindsey said. Liles added,"We are really close on and off the field like being able to come out here and be able to do things with these kids. I think that even brings us stronger together.
Winning in dramatic walk off fashion twice in the super regional only adds to the level of closeness. This softball team truly believes in one another and that anything is possible.
"If they have taught me anything, its to never give up," Liles said. "Whether its in the seventh inning and we are down by three runs, I mean we can always come back. Lindsey added,"Any one person at anytime can come up to the plate or go out on the field and can get the job done."
Well see if the Lady Tigers can get the job done over the next week and win their second national title in four years.