The last stand for softball-playing trioPublished 10:40pm Wednesday, July 31, 2013
A trio of local softball players who have been teammates for a decade took the field together for the last time at a national tournament last week in Florida, and they left it on a high note.
The group included Sydney Glover, who was playing in her final game at a high level of competitive softball.
Glover, Jazmine Card and Hope Mounie all graduated from Nansemond River High School this year and helped contribute to a stellar Lady Warriors softball season, but their history goes back much further than that.
“I’ve played all through rec ball with Sydney Glover and Jazmine Card,” Mounie said. “Ever since we were 7.”
The journey started in Bennett’s Creek Little League and included high school and travel ball. Their Virginia Lady Eagles 18U Gold team traveled last week to Clearwater, Fla. for the Amateur Softball Association of America 18U Gold Nationals.
Dave Glover, Sydney’s father, who served as the Lady Eagles’ assistant coach, said, “There were five teams that actually qualified from Virginia, and we ended up at the top of the five, so (I’m) pretty pleased with how it turned out for us.”
The Lady Eagles finished 2-2, placing 25th out of 64 teams.
“We had to make the most of it, since this was our last time playing together forever,” Card said.
All three girls made key contributions to bring about the finish.
“Syd was phenomenal,” Coach Glover said. “She ended up leading our team once again in batting average, which is kind of typical for her.”
She posted a .440 average for the tournament, with 11 hits.
Coach Glover said the team struggled offensively, with only 31 hits, “so Sydney alone accounted for about a third.”
She played centerfield for the week, while Card and Mounie shored up the infield.
“Jazmine Card played shortstop for us the entire tournament, not a single error, had a great week,” Coach Glover said.
Mounie played exclusively at first base, and Coach Glover praised her for a great defensive week, as well.
Of the three girls, Glover is the only one who has decided not to play intercollegiate softball in college. Graduating as salutatorian at Nansemond River, she will be attending Yale University.
She said that after sustaining an injury at the beginning of the high school softball season and visiting Yale for her orientation, she saw the opportunities that were being laid before her there.
She said she left “knowing I had so many different options of things I could do.”
The idea of exploring new opportunities outside of softball ultimately won her over, though she does plan to play intramural softball there.
When asked what she would remember most about the sport, it was not the game that came up.
“Just the people I’ve been with these past few years are definitely the most important part of my softball career,” she said. “It’s really great to have a group of girls I’ve known since I was really small.”
Card said of Glover, “Playing alongside her has been an honor. I love her so much.”
Card will be headed to the University of Maryland Eastern Shore in the fall to play Division I softball. While she is sad that Glover will not be continuing at the intercollegiate level, she said, “I’m proud that I got to play in her last tournament.”
Mounie, who will play club ball at Longwood University, said she and Glover had always been part of each other’s support system.
“Our bond got stronger, and she’s definitely one of my closest friends,” Mounie said.
In the Florida tourney, Coach Glover said, “Sydney made the last out for our team with a diving catch in centerfield, and she actually got our last hit of the season.”
“For me, it was a very fitting ending to quite a career for Sydney,” he said.
He and his wife, Paula, he added, are also proud of their daughter for her academic focus. He does, however, wonder if softball could still be in her future.
“We’ll see,” he said. “I’m hoping she’ll change her mind and walk on, and I know she could help them.”