The 17th version of the Tennessee-Georgia all-star high school softball series presented by Frost Cutlery will take place today with a doubleheader at Jim Frost Stadium starting at 6 p.m.
Event coordinator Bobby Hudgens said festivities will begin with two youth games. The first is scheduled at 3:30 and is between the 6-under Frost Falcons '07 and the Georgia Heat '07. At about 4:30, the 8-under Frost Falcons '06 -- with Jim Frost himself as one of their coaches -- will take on the Georgia Sudden Impact.
Before the all-star doubleheader, a ceremonial first pitch will be thrown by former Soddy-Daisy standout pitcher Kelsey Nunley. This year as a sophomore at Kentucky, she not only helped her team get to the Women's College World Series but was selected to the WCWS all-tournament team.
Susan Crownover, who guided GPS to the TSSAA Division II-AA state championship in May, is coaching the Tennessee team. It will give her one more opportunity to coach her daughter before Kelby Crownover hangs up the cleats for good and heads off to Milledgeville to attend Georgia College.
Three other Bruisers were selected to the team, and Coach Crownover said all were excited about putting on the uniform one more time. She said she knows most of the all-stars she'll be coaching and making out lineups will be the hard part.
"I'm going to try not to do too much," the coach said. "They're all pretty good."
Crownover, who has particpated once before in the series as assistant to then-Ooltewah coach Norma Nelson, will be assisted by one of her former players, Soddy-Daisy assistant Jackie [McClain] Freelend, and Central head coach LeeAnne Shurette.
Steve Chattin directed Heritage to a Class AAAA state-runner-up finish last fall. One of his assistants on the Georgia squad is Chip Liner, who started the fastpitch program at Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe in the fall of 1995.
Liner, who retired from coaching in 2011 after a five-year stint at TSSAA member Silverdale Baptist Academy, was an assistant on Chattin's 1995 and '96 18-under Frost Falcons select team.
"I'm looking forward to it, especially working with Steve again," Liner said. "I know we'll be very organized. I just plan to take his lead and follow that. It'll be fun."
Retired Hazel Brown, who started Ringgold's fastpitch program, also was chosen as a Georgia assistant, but Liner said she will be on vacation.
Admission is $7 per person or $4 for ages 6 to 12. Children 5 and under will be admitted free.
Contact Kelley Smiddie at email@example.com or 423-757-6653. Follow him 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.