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Spring Garden players honored the memory of fellow student Colby Slayton during their game by hanging a poster and baseball emblem on their dugout. Slayton was killed in an early morning car accident Wednesday. Spring Garden played Holy Spirit in their first game during the high school state softball tournament Friday at Lagoon Park in Montgomery. (Photo by Trent Penny)

The state softball tournament had no shortage of profiles in courage Friday.

Spring Garden, reeling from Wednesday’s tragic death of senior multisport standout Colby Slayton, won two games. With second baseman Macy Reedy, Slayton’s girlfriend, in the lineup, the Panthers emerged from the first day of their state in the winners’ bracket final.

They’ll play Mars Hill Bible today at 9 a.m.

White Plains’ Emma Jones sustained a cut requiring stitches and lost a tooth sliding into second base on a steal attempt against Dale County. Bandaged, she returned to the circle to pitch in that game, finishing out a 9-6 victory.

Jones got a win and a save then left Lagoon Park to get stitches between games. She returned to play against North Jackson.

Sophomore Reece Roberts pitched admirably while a trainer worked with Jones in the dugout, working an inning and two batters into the next and keeping the Wildcats ahead on the scoreboard.

Two warriors, wounded in different ways, were there for their teams. Their teams were there for them.

All gave their communities a reason to smile with pride and reminded us what these games are all about, especially on the schoolgirl level.

Sports Writer Joe Medley: 256-235-3576. On Twitter: @jmedley_star.

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