Unicoi County Little League on to state; 3 Betsy girls key contributors

Published 10:10 am Friday, July 8, 2022

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ERWIN – The Unicoi County Little League All-Stars are on to the state tournament in Clarksville, and three players from Elizabethton have been solid contributors to that feat. Kaitlyn Gryder, Addy Campbell and Laci Gobble each in their own way have helped the squad achieve the goal.

“All three girls have contributed a lot,” Unicoi County head coach/manager Andy Baxter said. “They have given us competitiveness and depth. All three are good athletes and have played a lot of ball. They play good defense and have given us quality pitching and hitting.”

Gryder provided some punch in the championship game with a double that tied the game and Campbell drove in the winning run with Gobble getting the win from the circle.

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“It felt good for us all when Kaitlyn got that hit,” Gobble said. “It was really important for the team to get those runs and Addy’s hit drove in the winning run.”

How is it that these girls found their way to the Erwin squad Baxter explained saying, “Elizabethton has no formal Little League and the Little League wants to give everyone an opportunity to play if they wish. So we extended the opportunity to them and they wanted to keep playing. They all play in school at T.A. Dugger and I knew they could play well.”

Gryder plays second base with Campbell in centerfield and Gobble is one of three pitchers on the squad along with Carly Baxter and Laci Linville.

“All the girls can play multiple positions,” Baxter said. “When Carly pitches, Laci plays third base and they switch off when Laci pitches. The National tournament is in Greenville, North Carolina and it would be a cool experience to get there. But we have to take it as it comes.”

The state tournament begins Saturday and the Erwin team will play at 4 p.m. and each of the girls is confident of winning. “We really want to win and we are pretty confident that we can,” Gryder said, with each of her teammates in agreement.

The girls are thankful for the support given to them by parents, coaches and the community saying, “We couldn’t do any of this without our parents and coaches being supportive and giving us confidence. This is a good team and we all support each other and root for the team to be successful.”