Playing for pride

Judy Hayes throws out first pitch in the first Pelham High School versus Helena High School Faculty softball game. (Contributed)

Judy Hayes throws out first pitch in the first Pelham High School versus Helena High School Faculty softball game. (Contributed)

By CONNIE NOLEN / Community Columnist

A new Pelham Panther Team took the field this spring—The Pelham Green Sleeves.

Thanks to Varsity Softball Coach Sabrina Tutchtone, Pelham’s oldest athletes competed in a one-game wonder of a season.

Beginning a new tradition at PHS, Tutchtone organized the first Pelham High School versus Helena High School Faculty softball game which took place on Pelham’s own Judy Hayes Field.

Determined to have a strong Pelham showing, Tutchtone called on Judy Hayes herself to throw out the first pitch to begin the game—and hopefully an annual tradition.

Hayes put in practice time to perfect her first-pitch technique.

According to her husband, retired Pelham Mayor Bobby Hayes, “Our garage walls have the scars to prove she practiced.”

“On Sunday afternoon, we were happy to find Coach T and her assistants working on the field so that I could throw a few pitches on the field,” Hayes said. “Ultimately, on Monday night, I was glad to get off a pitch that headed towards the center of the plate. I think the catcher made me look good by making a good catch.”

After a successful first pitch, the Pelham Green Sleeves took command of the field. Dominating against a lackluster Helena High School Faculty team, the Green Sleeves consistently outperformed their competition.

The final score of the first Pelham High School versus Helena High School Faculty Softball Game was a resounding Pelham victory with a lopsided final score of 17-5.

The huge win by the Pelham Green Sleeves was a masterful finale to the short season.

“You guys are the greatest ever! Everyone pitched in and made the night a huge success,” Tutchtone said to her oldest team. “We hope everyone enjoyed the festivities and we can’t wait until next year!”

If the badly beaten Helena High School Faculty Team is able to gather together the needed players next year, the Pelham versus Helena High Faculty Softball Game should go on to become a long-lasting tradition.