Coach’s e-mail sparks Hartselle Belles in World Series
Don’t be surprised if a softball player who cut her teeth playing ball at Hartselle’s Grady and Margie Long Softball Complex in Hartselle winds up some day playing at Louisiana State University.
The reason is simple. LSU women’s head softball coach Yvette Girourd wrapped her arms around the 13-15 Dixie Belles while they were competing at the World Series in Pineville, La. July 31-August 3.
The bond between the Belles and coach Girourd was initiated on July 27 with an e-mail, which was written by team mom Robyn Corum. It was sent to Girourd after Hartselle’s 13-15 all-stars had adopted Girourd’s highly touted presentation entitled “Hold the Rope,” claimed their third state championship in a row and were getting ready to compete in the world series in Pineville, La.
“After winning district we (moms) were looking for a cohesive element, or idea, we could use to encourage our girls to do their very best,” Corium pointed out. “We found ‘Hold the Rope’ on the Internet and decided it had the message we wanted to convey. It poses the question “who would you trust to be on the other end of the rope if you were dangling over the edge of a cleft holding the other end?”
The players’ moms then organized a rope relay race, came up with a rope cheer and provided each girl with a piece of green rope to attach to their bat bags. They also provided them with ”100% Club” tack pins. Ropes were also used as part of the design for the World Series T-shirt and the words “Hold the Rope” were prominently displayed on car and SUV windows.
After Corum e-mailed coach Girourd and informed her about how her presentation had been adopted by the team, she received the following e-mail: “Wow what a great e-mail to absolutely make my day! I will be cheering for you and the girls on from Baton Rouge.”
She also responded to a second email from Corum requesting words of wisdom after Hartselle had won its second straight game. It read: ”Congrats. Well here goes, remember you don’t have to be the best team in the country today, just the best team on the field in today’s game. Good luck, let me know.”
Copies of both of Girourd e-mails were posted in Hartselle’s dugout prior to the games.
A third e-mail was sent informing Girourd how the Hartselle team came out in the competition. In addition, she was thanked for her interest and support and asked to consider sharing some autographed pictures for team members. An e-mail response had not been received on Monday.
Hartselle’s Belles split four games in the series and finished fifth among 12 teams. They also received the tournament’s Sportsmanship Trophy.