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Watson and Taylor

Battle of the sexes

By Michael Butler

When Bobby Riggs made his infamous challenge about men vs. women in tennis to Billie Jean King almost 50 years ago, he was 55. King was in her prime at 29. What became known as the "Battle of the Sexes" did not go well for the boisterous Riggs inside the Astrodome in Houston.

Trey Taylor has made a similar claim, except it is that he can hit a softball off of a fastpitch pitcher. Former Tallassee High and Huntingdon College pitcher Brooke Watson has accepted Taylor's challenge.

Watson is 29. Taylor will turn 55 later this year. Maybe this is too much like the other "Battle" that made national headlines.

Watson is now a softball coach at Reeltown High School. And, she has been practicing for the faceoff that will take place on Tuesday, April 27 at 5:45 p.m. at Southside Field prior to the Elmore County vs. Tallassee softball game.

"I threw probably two weeks ago because I started thinking I should start preparing myself for this," Watson said.

Watson's father, Allen Meadows, pitched against Trey when the two played Little League Baseball together decades ago.

"I assume she throws about the speed of her father, and I hit her father," Taylor remembered. "He hit me a couple of times. Don't hit me okay. That's all I ask. I've got a mask and a lot of blubber on me, but I don't like being hit."

Odds are that Taylor's chances are not good.

"I think it's pretty slim," Watson said. "When I was at CACC (Central Alabama Community College), I did throw to Jacob Gibson, who played baseball. I think he actually fouled one off or hit one."

Gibson, a Tallassee assistant baseball coach these days, will catch up Watson on Tuesday.

In another national spotlight encounter of male vs. female, Albert Pujols faced Jennie Finch. Pujols, a Major League Baseball player, struck out against the former college and U.S. Olympic softball star.

"It's a different release. In baseball you can't throw a rise ball," Watson said. "I might throw him an off-speed. I'll let him see a little bit of everything. I don't want to hit him with just the tough stuff. He might foul off a changeup."

Expect Taylor to be aggressive.

"I can probably count on my hand the times I walked in my lifetime," he said. "I'm not going to need but one pitch. I'm just going to walk up there and slap it over the fence and it's over. I'm just that kind of athlete."

In addition to the Watson/Taylor battle, the Elmore County/Tallassee softball game will be broadcast on 1300 WTLS/106.5 FM and Facebook Live. The softball matchup pits two of the top teams in Class 5A with No. 2 ranked Tallassee and No. 3 ranked Elmore County.

*WTLS Broadcast Link
* WTLS Facebook Live Link