For the final state championships of the 2022-2023 school year that marked the 50th anniversary of Title IX, the TSSAA welcomed back its first-ever state champions in the sport of girls' softball to take part in the championship ceremonies at Star*Plex in Murfreesboro on Friday, May 26th. Members of the championship teams in attendance were recognized for propelling the sport of girls' softball to where it is today by receiving a commemorative medal designating them as a "TSSAA Title IX Trailblazer." These women remained on the field to assist in presenting the 2023 state champions with their championship medals.
Girls’ softball was first sanctioned as a TSSAA sport in 1979, and that spring, the Richland High School team became the first-ever TSSAA Softball State Champions in Class A, defeating North Greene 2-1 in the championship game. The Raiders finished the season with a 12-3 record and also returned to the state tournament in 1980 and 1981. The following members of the 1979 team were in attendance at the conclusion of this year's 1A championship: Brenda Gay Condrey, Janet Davis Coble, Belinda Denton Parsley, Anita Farrar Stephens, Penny Farrar Warren, Pam Whitworth Gibson, Rhonda Whitworth, Teresa Whitworth, Annette Woodward Edwards, and representing the late Head Coach Alton Coble, his daughter, Karen Coble Young.
1979 Richland HS Team
Members of the 2A runners-up Forrest team shake hands with the 1979 Giles Co. team
The Giles County High School team earned the first-ever state championship in Class AA, defeating Roane County 9-2 in the championship game. The Bobcats finished the season with a 15-2 record and continued their domination by repeating as state champions in 1980 and 1981. Present from that 1979 team at the conclusion of the 2A championship were Rhonda Norwood Young, Connie Walker Liggett, Mae White, Willa Whitworth Manchester, Representing the late Laura Ingram, her sister, Sally Ingram Phelps, and representing the late Coach Billy Pigg, his son and daughter, Phil & Beverly Pigg.
1979 Giles Co HS Team
The East Ridge High School team became the first-ever TSSAA Softball State Champions in Class AAA, defeating Millington 16-3 in the championship game. The Pioneers finished the season with a 18-4 record. At the conclusion of this year's 4A championship game, the following members of the 1979 East Ridge team were present to be recognized: Beverly Garner Grubbs, Kathy Haley Coker, Genna Hall-Peck, Sherri Hope Braeger, Susan Johnson, Elizabeth Locke Hedges, Lisa Potter Bryant, Janell Tommey McKenzie, Jamie Woods Angel, Michele Yarbrough Bull, and Cathy Zachry Powell.
1979 East Ridge HS Team