Just Icing on the Cake
One of the best men's slow pitch softball teams in the country is right here in mid-Missouri. The Hooters Heat are the owners of the past four ASA State Championships and this year their summer on the diamond turned into a national success. They're a group of guys who spend the summer playing softball making as many stops as a rock band.
"Little Rock, AR. Course we've been to Springfield, Kansas City, St. Louis. Topeka was our national. Muncie, IN last weekend. Going to Daytona this weekend," said outfielder Jeff Trammell.
But these weekend warriors still come back to earth when the games are done.
"That grass gets mowed on Monday or Tuesday whether it needs it or not," he added.
Former Hickman Kewpie and Missouri Tiger Wes Fewell is one of the newer players and, for him, the transition from the baseball to the softball took some time.
"I was just popping everything up. Fly balls and a ground ball to second base. The ball comes in and looks like a big old beach ball and I couldn't do anything with it," the outfielder said.
When the team wins, they get money, but not a paycheck. All of it goes back into getting more equipment, balls and bats that are cracked because of Big Country.
Manager Justin Towe explained, "He's a guy that as big as he is he steps up and can hit a ball a long way. Your mouth hits the ground and it's something to see."
What sets the Hooters Heat apart is how close they are. The team is made up completely of players from mid-Missouri.
"They may be a team out of the west coast, but they fly players out of the east coast to meet up on the weekends. Whereas, us on our budget we're right here locally," he added.
And the formula works, at nationals in Topeka they won the West Championship, qualifying them for a Best of 5 National Championship against the East Champs from New Jersey.
"The fun thing is that we already have our ring, so now this is just icing on the cake and having a good time," Towe said.
Coach Towe says the secret to the teams success is defense, old guys on the dirt and young guys run around the outfield.
This weekend the team played in Daytona Beach, Florida. The National Championship is in Oklahoma City next weekend.
"If we can go to OKC and do something they might be a little better. Put a diamond in them or something," said outfielder Trammell.
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