GARDENDALE, Ala. (WBRC) - When you think of athletes cheering, you may think of cheerleaders at a football game, or a competition, but for softball, cheering in the dugout is just as important as the person at bat.
From the first inning to the end of the game, Gardendale pitcher Kaitlyn Clark says the cheering never stops, not even if you lose your voice.
“Cheering for me helps so much. It takes my mind off what’s going on, and just helps me to relax and calm down," Clark said.
Clark says cheering and softball go hand-in-hand like a softball is to a glove.
“That’s part of the game, and it’s part of the girls being in the game. They cheer nonstop, being an old baseball guy I had to get used to it," said Gardendale Softball Coach Bary Brake.
It doesn't matter if you're at bat, pitching, or playing in the outfield, each teammate has their own cheer.
“My cheer gives me a lot of confidence when I’m up at bat and everyone’s cheering me on," said Gardendale shortstop Carlee McCondichie.
The cheers are made up, so not only do you have to be good at softball to make the team, but Clark says you also have to be creative.
“When you’re cheering, you pick everyone up, and we do better when we cheer for one another,” Clark added.
“When everyone’s screaming and yelling, we call that our ‘mojo’ and yes we can be loud,” McCondichie said.
Gardendale has advanced to the 6A winner’s bracket round three and will play Buckhorn at 12:30 p.m. Thursday for a spot in the championship game.