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Game day can be mom's day

Screenshot from B1 of the Saturday, May 11 e-edition of the Stevens County Times

Although this wasn't any Mother's Day game, several mother's were watching their daughters recently at a Morris Area / Chokio-Alberta varsity softball game. Four women, three mothers and an aunt, have a particular interest in the team, being former players of Morris Area or Chokio-Alberta.

Tammy (Fults) Baier is the mother to senior Jordann Baier. Tammy (Kukla) Paulson is the aunt of junior Jaden Ross. Amy (Hofland) Kehoe is the mother to junior MacKenna Kehoe. Kari (Brethorst) Marty is the mother of senior shortstop Bailey Marty.

"Our biggest rival was Morris," Kehoe said. Kehoe and Marty both played for Chokio-Alberta from 1990 to 1993.

"Those were the best memories of my high school days," Paulson said. Paulson played for Morris from 1987 to 1990.

"(Jaden) is even more fortunate to be able to play for Mary Holmberg. Holmberg's love of the sport shines through with her coaching and the way she really cares about each of the girls," Paulson added.

"Mary (Holmberg) is the same coach as she was when I was in it softball, but sometimes I think she was harder on us then on the girls today," Baier said. Baier played for Morris from 1987 to 1988.

While C-A and Morris are were rivals back in the day, there daughters and niece are now on the same team. Morris Area and C-A combined sports in the late 2000s.

"It was a little surreal to be cheering for a team that was always a rival when MacKenna started playing softball for the Tigers. It didn't take long to get over that," Kehoe said.

While the women remember the good old days of playing, now they just enjoy watching their kids play. The moms said that their daughters are better players than they were.

"She is much more diligent about practice and has a lot more poise than I did," Kehoe said of MacKenna. "Nothing gets to her- I did not have and still do not have a great poker face while playing ball."

"Jordann is a good player. She keeps her head and a positive attitude, she enjoys playing and I do enjoy watching her," Baier said.

Paulson has noted her niece's work ethic.

"Jaden is a very hard worker in anything and everything she does," Paulson said. "She puts her mind to something and she can really accomplish anything."

While Today's players are good, the women have been able to give them some advice.

"At times I try to give her advice (now)," Marty said. The advice she has given is, "To be a dedicated player and have fun."

"Didn't give her much (advice) just to go have fun and do your best," Baier said. "I did tell her were to stand in the batters box if the pitches are to fast or coming in slow."

"It is hard to give her too much advice about the game as I do not know a lot about pitching," Kehoe said. "I always tell her to have fun and always do your best."

Softball was a fun part of their high school experience, and they are still friends with many former teammates.

"We had a very close group of girls and love to reminisce about our softball days," Paulson said.

Brooke Kern

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