Aubrye Williams has game of her life

Susan EspirituAnderson, Karns/Hardin Valley

What Joey Williams expected to be a normal softball game between Oak Ridge High and Hardin Valley Academy turned out to be anything but normal.

Joey’s daughter, Aubrye Williams, is a sophomore and serves as the manager for the ORHS softball team. Last Monday, when the team scrimmaged at HVA, Aubrye was given an opportunity to go up to bat. Joey was not aware of the orchestrated event that occurred, because she does not seek or expect any special treatment for her daughter.

One of the HVA coaches went up to pitch and a fellow player stood with Aubrye to assist with batting. When she was able to hit a grounder which rolled just past the pitcher’s mound, the Lady Hawks fumbled the ball until Aubrye was able to round every base and cross home plate.

Watch: Video of Aubrye’s HR

Below is the public post Joey issued to the HVA athletic department, softball coaching staff and especially the players.

“I just wanted to say how floored I was Monday night at the scrimmage that HVA and especially TSSAA allowed, supported and followed through with letting the ORHS team manager hit that home run. That was my daughter.

Aubrye is a neuroatypical human with different abilities but with a drive and more importantly a heart bigger than any statistic could accurately register.

“Aubrye has been in SPED her entire academic career. She was adamant about trying out for the ORHS softball team last summer. I tried to talk her out of it as she had previously only participated in a couple of seasons of recreational league play and high school level players have had years of experience and it is a competitive level league.

“I prepared to build her up when she wasn’t chosen, but much to my surprise and delight she was chosen by coach Jeremy Gill to be the manager. Upon the opening of the conditioning and practice part of the season, Aubrye was right there alongside all her teammates running, throwing, etc.

“She was aware that she was in a manager role, though, and the opportunity to participate in open league play would be scarce throughout the season.

“For Hardin Valley coach Autumn Collin to have agreed to the request by Wildcats coach Gill to have her girls participate in creating this priceless memory for one little girl, I will be forever grateful. My daughter’s life was changed last night. Her confidence and the pride in herself is on level 1,000.

“Being neurodivergent, we have experienced her fair share of exclusion, bullying and being ostracized publicly. I have been amazed at OUR team and how a group of teenage girls have included, supported and encouraged Aubrye. But for both your softball organization and especially TSSAA to agree to this was jaw dropping.

“My daughter is experiencing self-love and pride that in 17 years she has never felt before. This was such a beautiful thing to witness and I have been in tears with overflowing love and gratitude for days. Thank you all SO much.

“Your organization, coaches and girls not only changed my daughter – you changed this mom’s life. This gave me a little extra faith in both humanity and the future of which all these young girls will eventually lead and preside. It served as a reminder that despite the sometimes overbearing darkness in the world, kindness still exists.”

Sportsmanship is defined as an aspiration or ethos that a sport or activity will be enjoyed for its own sake, and with proper consideration for fairness, ethics, respect and a sense of fellowship with one’s competitors.

Last Monday, two teams,  two communities and one family learned a life lesson about true sportsmanship.

All of us have a story and I want to tell yours! Send them to


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *