Going, going, gone

Published 11:51 am Saturday, January 26, 2013

EA's Autumn Corley will be headed to Italy soon to represent the U.S. playing softball.

Escambia Academy freshman Autumn Corley’s first trip overseas will involve the sport she has played almost her entire life.

The softball pitcher from Bay Minette will be one of 14 girls to represent the United States in a USA Athletes International-sponsored tournament in Grosseto, Italy.

“I’m really excited to get to go somewhere else and to get to play softball over there,” she said.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

The daughter of Jonathan and Ann Corley will leave for the 2013 Tuscany Tournament in July. The 10-day trip includes five days of sight seeing and stops in Rome and Florence, Corley said.

“We’re going to see the Coliseum and just tour around,” she said. “They have tours set up for us.”

Corley made the team when her play caught the eye of Robertsdale High School and USAAI softball coach Barry Roberts. U.S. teammate and Golden Bear catcher Emily Sinclair, whose grandfather, J.D. Ashcroft lives in Atmore, when she played summer league ball.

“I saw her play over summer,” Roberts said. “I was very impressed with her.”

Roberts said he hopes the tournament, which will feature international competition, can bring softball back to prominence worldwide.

“Softball used to be an Olympic sport and then it was taken out,” he said. “We want to get it to a level of competition to where it can be an Olympic sport again.”

Corley said she has bagged groceries and plans to do a car wash to help raise the $4,000 needed for the trip. Both of her parents are coming along.

“I’m happy for her,” said Jonathan Corley. “It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience for a young lady to play softball in another country.”