Everybody thinks they’re supposed to be a big power hitter but my little slapper gets up there and hits a grand slam.Lady Mustangs coach Chuck Smith
SPRINGFIELD — The state-of-the-art lighting at Josh Reddick Stadium was overwhelmed by the aura of ReAnn McCloy.
McCloy’s beaming smile reflected the outcome of the latest softball installment of South Effingham vs. Effingham County better than the giant electronic scoreboard in left field.
“This is so exciting,” she said following South Effingham’s 10-5 come-from-behind victory Tuesday. “I don’t think today could have gone any better.”
McCloy had two hits, including the key blow that helped the Lady Mustangs top the Lady Rebels for the third time this season. With a running start, the left-handed hitter jerked the ball over first base next to the foul line in right field and it curled into the corner, clearing the loaded bases.
“Everybody thinks they’re supposed to be a big power hitter but my little slapper gets up there and hits a grand slam,” Lady Mustangs coach Chuck Smith said. “She had six RBIs tonight. Good for her!”
McCloy, a senior, has one other inside-the-park homer on her resumé.
“Now I’m waiting on my first out-of-the-park home run,” she said with a laugh. “I asked Coach Chuck if I should swing away and he said, ‘Are you crazy? You’re a slapper! That’s what you do.’
“‘You got it!’”
McCloy’s latest circuit clout gave South Effingham its first lead since it enjoyed a 1-0 edge midway through the opening frame.
Effingham County entered the sixth inning up 4-1 and exited it down 7-4. The Lady Mustangs continued to pour it on in the next frame as they scored three more runs, getting two on a McCloy single.
“She’s a great kid,” Smith said. “She’s won my Coach’s Award three years in a row. Nobody deserves this more than she does.
“She’s just a phenomenal kid and everybody will tell you that.”
McCloy was thrilled to add another highlight to what is shaping up as a special season for the Lady Mustangs, who are 16-4 overall and 5-1 in Region 2-AAAAA.
“This excitement will carry over for the next few games,” McCloy said.
Effingham County, 11-5 overall and 6-0 in Region 2-AAAAAA, also had some memorable moments Tuesday. Bailee Wilson, playing her first game at shortstop, swatted two run runs, a two-RBI shot in the first inning and a titanic solo blast in the final one. Both homers cleared the fence in left field.
In addition, Lady Rebels second baseman Gracie Whaley played stellar defense and added three hits.
Proceeds from the game were donated to CURE Childhood Cancer. More than $1,000 was raised.
“That’s awesome,” Smith said. “That’s what it’s about.”
The players on both teams showed support for the cause by wearing gold bows in their hair. CURE uses gold bows to heighten cancer awareness.