Tatum Neubecker receives 2017 Peg Runyan Award

Also awarded best offensive, tied for best defensive player


WEST BRANCH — It was an exciting night for 13-year-old softball player Tatum Neubecker as she was pronounced the winner of the 2017 Peg Runyan Award at Field 4 of the West Branch Little League Fields June 20.

The Peg Runyan Award is in honor of former Ogemaw Heights softball coach Peg Runyan, who coached the game from 1976-1986.

Winning awards is nothing new for Tatum, as she was awarded best offensive and tied for best defensive player, awards she also won in 2016.

Tatum, who has been playing since she was 4, said it was cool to receive the award.

“I love everything about the sport,” Tatum said.

Her father and coach Joel Neubecker said the sport teaches kids life lessons and sportsmanship, and provides them the opportunity to stay in shape.

Tatum is a catcher for her team, but to be selected by her peers for the Runyan award also means she is the epitome of excellent sportsmanship and displays great ability on the field.

In addition to Tatum, Kristy and Joel Neubecker’s daughter Kirsten, 11, also plays the game. Both girls hope to play ball well into college.

“They both want to play in college,” Joel said. “They love it.”

Kristy and Joel said they were excited for Tatum to win the award.

“We are proud of her,” Joel said. “She works harder than anyone I know. She is a super dedicated player.”

Emily Hines was the other recipient of the best defensive player in 2017.


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