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Former Lady Vol and her daughter cheer on Big Orange

11:31 PM, Jun 4, 2013   |    comments
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  • Halli Bailey takes a practice swing before walking up to bat
  • Sarah Fekete Bailey watches her daughter's little league game

They knew Oklahoma would be a tough opponent, but that never swayed the die-hard Lady Vols softball fans.

Years after she graduated, former Lady Vol Sarah Fekete Bailey still closely follows the team. Her four-year old daughter, Halli, is also a fan and loves watching third baseman Raven Chavanne.

"Because she makes home runs!" Halli explained.

Fekete Bailey, who now coaches softball at Knoxville Catholic High School, played in the Women's College World Series while she was in school. These days, she enjoys cheering on the Lady Vols from the sidelines.

"I can sit back and cheer on just like everybody else," she said. "And it's an awesome feeling to know that I was a part of it to begin with, so you know those emotions that are involved. But I'm cheering and getting nervous just like everybody else is on their couch."

She is also a fan of her daughter's team, a little league co-ed crew that plays in Alcoa.

"It's fun, especially to watch your own kid play ball," she said. "But I'm so competitive it's hard sometimes. I have to sit down and keep my mouth shut!"

As they watched the World Series together, mother would challenge daughter to name the pitches. At four years old, Halli is learning quickly.

"Was it a rise ball, a drop ball?" Fekete Bailey would ask. "And she could say, 'That was a rise ball!'"

Knowing how difficult Tuesday night's game would be, she and other former Lady Vols decided to send the team good wishes.

"We all had a nice little email-twitter-text message update where we sent in messages to Marty McDaniel's wife, Kelly McDaniel. We all emailed her messages tonight to go to the team about how we're behind them and how we're excited for them. And once you're a Lady Vol, you're always a Lady Vol."

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