A pair of local softball players earned an opportunity to represent West Baton Rouge Parish on a national level.
Softball players Courtlyn Alexander and Jada Johnson were selected to represent South Louisiana in the United States Specialty Sports Association (USSSA) Regional All-State Tournament in Rowlett, Texas, set for Aug. 10-11.
The pair recently played for the Lady Legendz travel ball organization on the 10u team. Both players recently turned 11 and will be sixth graders at Brusly Middle when the new school year begins.
Despite the prestigious honor, the nearly lifelong friends had to be told by their parents just how much the kids’ hard work had paid off.
“My dad didn’t want to tell me until he got home, but my momma told me,” Johnson said. “She was so happy. She was like, ‘that’s a big deal.’”
“My sister made a team and I told my dad one night, I wish I made a big team like that,” Alexander said. “He was like ‘Oh yeah I forgot to tell you, you made a team to go to Texas.’ I was like, well, thanks.”
Playing on the same team is nothing new for the two friends. They’ve played together for four years and their friendship spills out onto the field and chemistry takes over as they are in constant communication with Alexander taking control in the circle and Johnson behind the plate as her battery mate.
Johnson and Alexander are two of 14 players selected to represent southern Louisiana in the tournament. They won’t be alone however as one of their teammates on the Lady Legendz, Jeanne Janise, will also be on the team.
“I’m looking forward to just having fun and kind of playing the game,” Alexander said. “Not worrying about if we don’t beat this team and what if we lose 8-4. I kind of just want to have fun and play the game.”
Johnson said she wants to use this experience as a way to meet new people and learn different things from other players.
One thing is certain. Both girls believed initially that the invite would bring them notoriety.
“I said I was going to be famous,” Johnson said chuckling. “At first I thought it wasn’t going to be a big deal, we’re only going to play two games and then my mom was like this is a big deal.”
Another familiar face for the girls will be Lady Legendz head coach Logan Lewis will be an assistant on the Louisiana team.
“Our coach definitely got us all the way there,” Alexander said. “Our coaches have been there the whole time.”
“I liked that they were intense and they challenged me,” Johnson added.
Lewis said the girls’ kind words mean that he and the coaching staff have been doing what they’re supposed to do.
“I’m honored,” Lewis said about being selected as a coach. “It just shows the type of girls we have on our team. To have three out of 14 says something.”
Courtlyn Alexander is the daughter of Chancy and Amanda Alexander. Jada Johnson is the daughter of Huey and Kimberly Johnson.