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Panthers provide helping hand

What started out as a lesson in softball excellence turned into a study in compassion for 10 Bartlett softball players.

Members of the Bartlett High School softball team recently attended the NCAA Women's College World Series in Oklahoma City. While there, they helped victims of the recent tornados in Moore, Okla., which devastated much of that community. Several members of the team, pictured above, helped unload emergency supplies for the tornado victims.

Members of the Bartlett High School softball team recently attended the NCAA Women’s College World Series in Oklahoma City. While there, they helped victims of the recent tornados in Moore, Okla., which devastated much of that community. Several members of the team, pictured above, helped unload emergency supplies for the tornado victims.

Two weeks ago softball coach Katie Maroon took her young athletes to Oklahoma City to see the nation’s top collegiate teams pair off in the Softball College World Series.

“We do this every two or three years,” Maroon explained. “I want them to see the best the sport has to offer; to see what it takes to get to the next level.”

While the girls witnessed softball crown its next champion, it was a different kind Oklahoma event that may leave a lasting memory.

Ten miles south the town of Moore was still reeling from the devastation from an EF5 tornado that ripped through the town’s center, killing 24 people and injuring nearly 400 others.

“Seeing the devastation….,” Maroon said. “I wanted to provide the girls an opportunity to volunteer, to be leaders. Volunteering to help was so impactful,” she continued.

Maroon’s girls weren’t the only ones on hand. They went to a number of locations offering their assistance and were finally directed to a trailer full of donated items.

“The people with the trailer had to catch a flight in a couple of hours,” Maroon explained. “The girls jumped in and we got the trailer unloaded.”

Not much later and it was the girls jumping in their van to beat the next storm.

“The sky got really dark,” Maroon said of her team evacuating the hard-hit area one day later. “I got the girls in the 15-passenger van and we just rolled toward Dallas to get clear of the storm.”

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