The last time 15-year-old Julia Bittner was in Chattanooga, she was 7 and running around at her sister Emily's 14-under Indiana Chaos games during an NSA World Series. But Julia's main focus back then was getting back to the hotel swimming pool.
"I just remember the Choo-Choo," said Julia, whose family again has stayed at the downtown landmark hotel while she's been competing for the 16-under Indiana Chaos team at The Summit of Softball complex in this week's NSA A Division Eastern World Series. "I remember it being really hot, and there were a lot of softball games."
The Bittner girls' father, Brian, is one of the coaches on Julia's team. He was merely a dad in the stands when Emily played in Chattanooga in 2005, and as it turned out her picture appeared with an article in the Times Free Press that July and he still has a copy.
However, unlike Julia, Emily was not quoted in the story. But someone sweet like Julia would never point out to her sister that she got to be interviewed, would she?
"Yeah," Julia said. "Definitely."
Contact Kelley Smiddie at email@example.com or 423-757-6653. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/KelleySmiddie.
Kelley Smiddie is a sports writer who has worked at the Times Free Press for 12 years. He covers high school sports and softball. Kelley’s hometown is Chattanooga, and he graduated from Brainerd High School and graduated Chattanooga State and UTC. Contact Kelley at 423-757-6653 or firstname.lastname@example.org.