As the saying goes in sports, “if you can not beat them, join them.” The new twist is “if you can not beat her, get her to join your team!”
Such is the case for Sally Faircloth of the South Effingham Angels, who will join the Georgia Impact of Atlanta in its quest for the 16-under USA/ASA National fastpitch softball title.
The Impact lost one of its key pitchers in the qualification process and that’s when the Impact’s coach Al Owen called Angels coach Ty Rietkovich to pick up a pitcher who has defeated the Impact twice.
“We had to think of who was the best available pitcher eligible for 16-u in the state, that we might could get to go, and no other pitcher has really had our number like Sally,” Owen said. “So, when we needed a replacement she was one of the first ones we thought about.”
Faircloth will join teammates Shelby Duff and Katie Rietkovich on the fields of Sioux Falls, S.D. However, for the first time since middle school, all three will have on different uniforms in the same tournament.
“This is quite an individual compliment when you are asked to join a team that already has enough quality players to earn a berth,” Rietkovich said. “Especially when they are counting on you to come in and help. To know that Sally has that kind of respect in North Georgia is a real compliment to her and how hard she has worked.”
Like Duff and Rietkovich, Faircloth left Friday for the prestigious tournament and will not return until Aug. 6. When she returns it will be time to start high school softball for the South Effingham Mustangs.