BY WILL NATIONS
It is not often a 7th-grader finds a starting role on the varsity team. Typically, injuries or an insufficient amount of players force the hand of a coach to play younger competitors.
But when Oak Hill head softball coach Nathan Ellis, in his second year, put 7th-grader Bailey Harrisâ€™ name on the opening-day lineup card at the No. 8 hole against Starkville Academy and the subsequent games after July 25, he had reasoning behind the decision. Harris has played well beyond her years in the first games of the season and provided a reliable outfielder for the Lady Raider softball team, according to Ellis.
â€śBailey is a great athlete,â€ť Ellis said. â€śShe has a ton of heart. I have known she was nervous before games, but I have a lot of belief in her to be successful in filling this role. I think she has a lot of potential. She is constantly meeting my expectations.â€ť
Harris experienced nerves prior to her debut for the Lady Raiders. Those feelings of anxiety were quickly vanquished when the center fielder slapped a two-out single into the outfield against Starkville in her first ever varsity at-bat.
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