Ozark Countians on softball team bound for Babe Ruth World Series

<p class="p1">The Wild West 18 and under Babe Ruth softball team, based out of the Twin Lakes area, is composed of seven players from Bakersfield, one from Dora, two from Cotter, Arkansas, and three from Viola, Arkansas. The team, which has  been playing ball together for the last three years, has racked up some big accomplishments. In 2015, the girls won the Arkansas State Championship and were Southwest Regional Runners Up. In 2016, they were Arkansas State Runners Up and Southwest Regional Champions. This year, the girls again won the state championship and, for the first time, are headed to the Babe Ruth World Series in Jensen Beach, Florida, on July 18-27.</p><p class="p3">“This is something these girls have dreamed of since the team was started,” said team manager Shyla Simpson. “Since the majority of this team – seven of the 11 girls – will not be able to play next year, this is a literal dream. Although this opportunity is right in the girls’ grasps, they must finance their own way there.”</p><p class="p3">The team has been mostly a self-sponsored team, with help from Granny’s Cafe in Bakersfield and Savor Grill in West Plains. A GoFundMe page has been developed, and several fundraising events have been planned. Members of the team are working in Savor Grill’s ice cream truck and operated a booth at the July 7 block party on the Mountain Home, Arkansas, square. Monday, the girls worked at Granny’s Cafe during the lunch hour. They collected donations from Mountain Home businesses on Tuesday, and are holding a car wash beginning at 10 a.m. Friday at the Auto Zone in Mountain Home. They’ll finish off their fundraising efforts at Bobbi Sue’s restaurant in Mountain Home on Sunday, July 16, serving a $10 pulled pork plate.</p><p class="p3"> “Wild West Softball is extremely thankful and appreciative of the amazing support we receive from our community, family and friends,” said Simpson.</p>

<p class="p1">Wild West team members are, from left, coach Willy Simpson, manager Shyla Simpson, Maddie Simpson, Natalie McKee, Ashton Yeager (kneeling), Hannah Braden, Abigail Ewing, Shawna Martin, Destiny Crawford, Krystal Foster, Jacelyn McCormack, Kryslynn Colvin, Shelby Summers, Emily Summers, Amanda Martin and coaches Shelten Wray and Justin Simpson.</p>

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