The third annual Hit-a-Home-Run for Special Olympics Mississippi took place on June 21, 2016 at Trustmark Park, home of the Double-A Atlanta Braves baseball team. This year, a Unified team of Mississippians played against a Unified “Southern League” team of athletes from Florida, Alabama and Louisiana. The Southern League team, including Louisiana, took home the gold! All three SOLA athletes, Aaron Rhodes, Logan Dahlquist, and Mike Thibodeaux, were from Team UnLimited, a unified softball team from the Acadiana Area. SOLA athletes were joined by Coach Mike Rhodes with his wife, Kathy, and two other coaches, Bekah Russo and Brodie Russo.
Each team included 8 Unified Partners composed of local/state/regional celebrities and 7 Athletes. Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant and athletes Michael Lewis (former New Orleans Saint); Sarah Thomas (NFL ref); Steve Avery and Marquis Grissom (former Atlanta Braves) took the field alongside Special Olympics athletes. Everyone had a blast and the Southern team took home the gold! The Mississippi Braves also extended an invitation for all the athletes and chaperones playing the game to be a part of their All-Star week.
A huge thank you to Special Olympics Mississippi and all those who made this event possible for including Louisiana in the event!