Game Changer

Published 5:38 pm Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Mabry Grace Briggs, who turned 17 on Monday, is a talented softball standout whose presence is noticed on and off the field by her peers and coaches.

Briggs began her softball career at 7-years-old when she started playing T-ball. She then moved on to recreational softball and eventually travel ball, where she’s spent the last five years playing. Briggs is a multifaceted player. She has played multiple positions: centerfield, shortstop, second basemen and even a pitcher at one point, but her favorite has always been centerfield.

Desirae Beachem, who has played with Briggs for the last five years, smiles as she remembers their years on the travel ball team.

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“We were playing outfield, and our pitcher was giving a thousand home runs up during travel ball and we used to run back and pretend to catch them, even though we knew it would be out,” Beachem said. “Her dad would get furious and we just thought it was hilarious.”

Addison Enfinger, who also played on travel ball with Briggs and Beachem, said, “You have to get to know her (Briggs). If I could say one thing about her, she’s funny with a dry sense of humor.”

The softball team holds back laughter as they remember the time a hitter on the opposite team hit a ball that bounced off Briggs head and scored a homerun from it. 

“We are all so close, we truly are like a family,” Briggs said. “That’s the reason we can laugh about it.”

Coach Christopher Bryant, who has coached Briggs for three years, said the whole varsity team this year, although primarily junior based, is a completely different team than he’s ever had.

“I heard Mabry describe it as a sisterhood, and it truly is,” Bryant said. “That’s the closest group of girls I’ve ever seen.”

Bryant said he knew they were getting into something special when he started seeing the girls post snapchats with each other outside of practice, and beg him to take them to do things.

“There’s never a dull moment with this group,” Bryant said.

Briggs has played for Bryant since she was a freshman. He describes her as a utility player who has a positive attitude no matter where she’s at. While Briggs said she enjoys fielding and catching pop up balls more, Bryant said he couldn’t ask for a better batter.

“She’s going to put the ball in play.”

In that sense, Briggs is almost like a role model.

“If Mabry gets on base, they will follow her up, follow her lead.”

College coaches have already noticed her versatility. Briggs’s travel ball team allows her to be scouted by recruiters. She already has an offer from Gulf Coast State College in Panama City, Florida.

While she would love to play there, she said her dream is to play for Mississippi State.

“I’m going to support her wherever she goes,” Bryant said. “I know she has the ability to play at the next level. Her work ethic, her attitude and dedication to this program and this game, she would be a tremendous asset to anyone who would have her.”

Briggs humble attitude about the game will take her far as well. While she enjoys being scouted, she loves the high school team and feel of a sisterhood more.

“She’s as humble as it comes, and that will open her up at the next level as well,” Bryant said.

Briggs will play again Thursday night against Thomasville in Thomasville.