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Athlete Spotlight

Posted: Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Best friends aren't easy to come by, but for three Greenbrier athletes, lifelong friendships are made on the softball infield.

 

Photo by Jim Blaylock

Jessica Borum, Tiffany Blackburn, and Amanda Glover, all members of the Greenbrier softball team, have been playing together since they were 12 years old.

"It's a lot more fun when you're playing with friends," Borum said.

This season, their friendship has spread to the whole team. On nights before a game, the team has built a tradition of eating together. Daily practices are filled with random nicknames (too embarrassing for anyone not on the team, according to Glover) and batting practices involve friendly dares.

Glover, the team's second baseman, told her friends she'd buy a steak dinner for whoever could hit five home runs in a row in batting practice. No one's earned a meal yet, but someone has paid up.

At the beginning of the year, head coach Garrett Black offered $25 to the first player who could hit the flag pole just beyond the outfield wall in dead center.

After Thursday's practice, Tiffany Blackburn is $25 richer.

"I didn't think I'd be paying up so soon," Black said. "With her it was just a matter of time."

Not only have the three Greenbrier softball players been playing together their entire lives but they've also been winning together.

The girls' first playing days together came on a local travel team called Greased Lightning. During that summer, they came together to win the 12-and-under World Series Championship.

Without a doubt, for the three girls who call themselves family, the past year has been the most successful.

A little less than one year ago, all three girls were part of Greenbrier's Softball State Championship Team. In the same school year, they also helped the Greenbrier girls basketball team reach the Elite Eight in the state tournament.

This summer, the girls represented Columbia County on the Dixie Debs fast-pitch softball team. They won the Dixie Softball World Series in Dothan, Ala.

Why all the winning? The girls said it's a simple matter of team unity.

"It takes a lot of hard work and dedication," Glover said.

"It's easier to do that with friends."

According to Black, the girls' winning attitudes are contagious.

"All three of them represent the team and their families and the school so well," he said. "It sets a good example for the rest of the girls."

The winning continues.

Last week, the Lady Wolfpack shut out a powerful Harlem team 2-0. Three of the team's leaders were in the middle of the win. Glover went 3-for-4 on the day, while Blackburn batted in both runs on a 2-for-3 day. Borum went 1-for-3 and endured the heat while catching.

All in a day's work for Greenbrier's three most successful friends.



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