The Wahkiakum County Eagle - Established as The Skamokawa Eagle in 1891

Veteran team offers sporting gesture

 

April 12, 2018

Courtesy photo.

Lady Mule Aubrey Montgomery, front and middle, found some support from an unexpected place: the other team. On March 30, the Rainier Mountaineers and a coach took some time to encourage Montgomery, who stepped up to pitch her very first game. After the game, they signed a ball and presented it to her.

After a two year hiatus, the Wahkiakum Mule softball team is back in action. Only four of the 13 Lady Mules have played softball before, so it is a year to grow, and to learn new skills and lessons.

On March 30, they got a master class in sportsmanship.

That day, sophomore Aubrie Montgomery stepped up to the mound in an official capacity for the first time.

Yevett Watts, one of the coaches for the Rainier Mountaineers, took notice. Watts is the mother of two pitchers and has coached select ball for many years. She described Montgomery as "amazingly brave."

"I and the plate umpire had a conversation about how brave it was for her to be out there pitching," Watts said. "It seemed to be a very new skill for her. She walked a few girls and you could tell she was starting to get down on herself."

When the inning was over, Watts walked over to the visitor's dugout to find Montgomery crying.

"I told her how fantastic her stride and drive was," Watts said. "The home umpire told her she was doing a great job."

Watts spoke to Montgomery's mom and suggested a few pitching instructors. And after asking for permission, she put a dot on the back of Montgomery's hand to give her a tool to follow her releases.

Later, the umpire suggested that Rainier present Montgomery with a game ball. When the last inning was over, the ball was dated and the entire Mountaineer team signed it.

"Our girls walked up to her and I told her how proud we as a team were of her bravery," Watts said. "Pitching is very difficult and she stuck with it even when it was really hard. I told her we were honored to have played such a wonderful group of girls but grateful for her especially because without her pitching, we wouldn't have had a game to play."

Wahkiakum Coach Stephanie Green was moved by the gesture and admitted that it brought a tear to her eye.

As for Montgomery, her confidence seems to have been bolstered by the kindness. She was smiling on Monday at the end of the Lady Mules first game against Winlock. When asked about the incident, she admitted that she was a bit gobsmacked by the whole thing.

"I was just so surprised that another team would be so helpful," Montgomery said.

After the game in Rainier, Montgomery and her mom approached the team and asked if they could get a picture. The Mountaineers approved. Afterwards, they shared a group hug.

"I just want to emphasize how special these Rainier girls are," Watts said. "They may not win every game on the field, but these girls have tremendous heart. I'm sure I can speak for the rest of the coaches on our RHS softball staff. We are honored to be around such amazingly spirited young ladies. It's not about the score for these girls. It's about making memories and forever long softball sisters."

As far as season records or game scores, the Lady Mules may be struggling this year, but they are learning there are other ways to win. On March 30, the Rainier Mountaineers showed them one more way to do it.

 

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