Thursday, May 27, 2010
Weekend full of activities
It was indeed a “Southern weekend” – a festival, barbecue, baseball and even some softball, too.
Friday night, Pam and I drove to Ashland for dinner at the Mississippi SpringFest, the annual festival there.
We were in line, under the big tent, awaiting our barbecue when State Senator Bill Stone asked Pam if we would be willing to help judge some cooking competition.
Of course, we said, yes, and found out the category was “Anything Butt.”
Bill had told me the day before there were around 40 teams in the Kansas City Barbecue contest. When we arrived, it was obvious the turnout was excellent. There were trailers, tents and cookers everywhere.
Pam was a little uncomfortable about the “Anything Butt” category – unsure of what she might be putting into her mouth.
As it turned out, we tasted some rather spicy gumbo, a dish of sausages, peppers and onions, another unidentifiable dish, plus a couple of rounds of baked beans.
We really enjoyed it. We met new people – including Greg Ward, state representative from Ripley.
Before we left, we had to visit the carnival and take home some cotton candy and a funnel cake.
It was time for baseball Saturday. Andy and other members of our Team Extreme were in the first tournament of the year at New Albany.
I had seen the weather forecast, and it was right on target – hot, very hot.
Our team played back-to-back games – starting at 10 a.m.
It’s hard to believe Team Extreme is in the 16 and under age group. Most of the players have been together in the summers for several years. It actually seems like yesterday we were in 8 and under Dizzy Dean ball in the Marshall County league.
Sunday afternoon, Pam and Andy were back in New Albany for another game, while Emma, Erin and I went to Alabama. We dropped Erin off in Hamilton for some fishing with her Uncle Roger, while Emma and I traveled on to Tuscaloosa for the finals of the NCAA Division I Softball Tuscaloosa Regional.
We arrived about an hour early. Bleacher seats were sold out, so we took our lawn chairs and watched from The Brickyard, just beyond the outfield fence. Again, it was 90-plus degrees and our clothes were soaking wet before the game even started.
Alabama, the top seed nationally, hit three home runs and eliminated Lipscomb (from Nashville, Tenn.) 6-0. The Crimson Tide moves on to host a Super Regional (best two of three) this weekend versus Hawaii.
Alabama (51-9) won its 27th straight game. Lipscomb finished 50-13.
An interesting side note – the starting pitcher for the Lipscomb Lady Bisons is Whitney Kiihnl, a sophomore from nearby Batesville who starred on the diamond at South Panola High School. Andy and Emma know her from church camp – Sardis Lake Christian Camp. Kiihnl’s pitching record for the season was 33-5.
“I knew Whitney (Kiihnl) was going to be good and she was as good as advertised,” Alabama head coach Patrick Murphy said in a news report from the game. “I talked to a coach in our league (SEC) and said that she’d be one of the top five pitchers in our league. They (Lipscomb) will be back in regionals for sure.”
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