The North Laurel softball team takes bumps and bruises from time to time during games but the game of life almost changed everything.
Becky Osborne is in her first year at the helm at North Laurel, and the Lady Jags have not skipped a beat, going 23-5 and could be on their way to their sixth straight 13th Region Title. But last week, records and championships meant nothing to this team after the Lady Jags heard their coach and her six-year-old daughter were in a car accident.
“I can remember everything,” Osborne says. “I was trying to get to my daughter and I couldn't because I was stuck. I think god was with us, because there's no reason why I should've survived.”
Osborne has some broken ribs and her daughter has a bruise and lost a baby tooth but will be fine. Assistant Rogers Strong is the interim coach in her absence.
“People don't realize how close we were to possibly losing both her and Ashlyn,” Strong says. “It would've been devastating to everybody in the program.”
Fast forward to Monday night. North Laurel facing South Laurel. A rivalry game. Osborne, banged and bruised, made her return to the team, sitting just outside the dugout, to see the Lady Jags defeat the Lady Cardinals 2-0 in extra innings...
“We just wanted it for her,” Outfielder Vanessa Smith says. “After all she's went through so we were playing for her tonight.”
“For her to be aching how she is and for her to be able to come out here to watch us and support us means a lot,” Infielder Kristen Fields says.
Osborne, who had mixed emotions about coming out Monday night, admits it was therapeutic to be back with her team. Even South Laurel showed their support to help her with the healing process.
“South showed a lot of class,” Osborne says. “They came over and shook my hand and hugged me and told me they were praying for me. So even though it's North and South Laurel, it's still Laurel County.”
The Lady Jags quest for yet another 13th Region Title will continue, but the Lady Jags say nothing will mean more to them than having their coach back in the dugout again.