With an ice bag on her arm and a smile on her face, Holly Koch talked about how much her final experience as a softball player meant to her.
Koch, one of two players from Navarre playing for the East in the Subway High School All-Star Game last Thursday at the University of West Florida Softball Complex, isn’t playing softball in college. So she made the most of her last time on the field, tallying a hit and playing all nine innings at second base to help the East top the West 8-5.
“It meant the world to me. I couldn’t have asked for a better game,” Koch said. “And we won. To have the opportunity to play one last time was amazing.”
Koch scored two runs in the game as well, and interestingly enough, both times she was brought across the plate on hits by Navarre teammate Hanna Stapleton.
Stapleton drove in two runs in the first and then she cleared the bases in the fourth with a hit that turned into an in-the-park home run because of errors. It extended the East lead to 6-2.
“I did not think I was going to score on that hit,” Stapleton said. “I was putting on the wheels and it was great being able to score a run for my team.”
Stapleton also pitched in relief for the East, including working the final inning to preserve the East’s second consecutive win in the five-year history of the game. The eight runs by the East is the second-most scored by the winning team in the series.
The game features seniors from Escambia, Santa Rosa and Okaloosa counties, giving players a chance to showcase their skills one last time and a chance to spend time with players they are normally going up against.
“It was so much fun being out here,” Stapleton said. “I didn’t know every player, but I took them on as if they were my own teammates. It was one of the best games I’ve played in all season.”
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