ATLANTA — The Adairsville JV Softball Team is ending its season on a high note Friday night but, the girls aren't counting up their wins and losses but rather lessons learned on the field.
Coach Kelly Abernathy says all the players are good kids, both on and off the field. Many of them are even close, having played together since they were three years old.
But it's not how the girls play that makes their coach proud, it's how they act.
"If we win, that's great. If we lose, we'll learn from it," he said.
A couple of weeks ago, the team they were playing against was about to lose when their pitcher got sick.
"They were struggling and I knew if I didn't step up, the game would have to end and they would have to forfeit. So I just thought, I would love to step up," eighth-grade player Lily Roberts said.
So that's exactly what she did, Roberts stepped right up to the mound and played for the other team.
"That's just Lily's personality if you know her, she said, 'hey, I've got it covered,'" Abernathy said.
But, Roberts wasn't just tossing balls for batting practice, she was firing them across home plate against her own team.
"She would smile at them and throw them a strike," Abernathy said about the game. "She was pitching like she was pitching in a championship game."
Even while Roberts was striking out her own teammates, the girls on both benches were cheering.
"I think the other team was really supportive of me coming to pitch for them. I did hear them cheering for me when I was pitching, and it made me feel good," Roberts.
The game ended a few innings later, but Coach Abernathy hopes the girls carry the lesson of what happened on the field for a lifetime.
"If we could be as positive as Lily is, there would be a lot less problems in the world," he added.
Ultimately, at the end of the day, no one even knows the score. Once both teams realized they were out there to help each other succeed, they just played for the love of the game.