This story was updated Tuesday, May 25, 2021, at 9:31 p.m. with more information.
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. — As family heirlooms go, the one Rolanda Green hopes to pass down to her daughters is pretty unique.
Green was a part of Sequatchie County's 1990 softball team that claimed what is still the school's only state championship in any sport. As this year's Spring Fling begins, senior pitcher Cali Green and her sister, freshman Cana, have helped the Lady Indians return to the state tournament.
"To get to be here and play this season with my sister is awesome," Cali said. "It's been a lot of fun to get to watch her and be teammates this year.
"When they canceled the season last year I laid in bed for a whole day and didn't know what to do. I started playing when I was four or five years old so to not get to play was pretty sad. Now we've got a chance to play for something that only my mom's team has done here. It would be pretty special to win it."
The Lady Indians fell behind 6-0 after two innings in Tuesday's opener and never recovered in a 12-2 loss to Lexington. Leading 9-2 in the sixth, Lexington added three runs to end the game on the 10-run rule. Cali had one of Sequatchie County's seven hits in the game, but none of its batters had more than one hit.
Sequatchie County (30-8) will face Union County in Wednesday's losers bracket at 12:30 with only the winner advancing.
When the Lady Indians won the 1990 title, they did so without their players even having played fastpitch before reaching high school.
"That was a pretty big adjustment, as far as not having experience hitting fastpitch," Rolanda said. "But we had some really good athletes and even now we're all close and still see ourselves as teammates. There are a lot of those former players who either still come to the games or keep up with the team on social media, but for me it's really cool having two girls out there playing together.
"I would love for my girls to get to experience what we did as a team. Just that excitement and having the whole town rally around you. When we got back home all the cars were blowing their horns and flashing their lights and pulling over to wave as our bus drove through town. I still remember that after all these years, so I'm hoping this group of kids gets to experience that too."
As a dominating presence in the pitching circle, Cali has 28 of the team's 30 wins with 13 shutouts, one no-hitter and 152 strikeouts in 167 innings pitched so far. The Bryan College signee is also batting .413 with seven home runs, nine doubles, three triples and 43 RBIs. Cana, who's used as a utility player, also has a homer and 29 runs scored.
"We've been pretty much relying on Cali all season and ridden her to get us here," said Lady Indians coach Kelly Somerville, whose dad, Pete Swafford, was the coach for the 1990 title team. "This is the only year those two would get to play together, so to get back to the state tournament is pretty unique.
"There's something special about being from a small town. I was six years old when they won it and a lot of those players were my heroes back then. Now I'm getting to coach some of the daughters of those players from that team, so it's come full circle."
Contact Stephen Hargis at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6293. Follow him on Twitter @StephenHargis.
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