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UWF Softball Team Has Memorable Experience With Team Outing At Blue Wahoos Stadium 

Former UWF star Tori Perkins, now Blue Wahoos group sales executive (center), arranged for the current UWF softball team to have a group outing with batting practice, movie night at Blue Wahoos Stadium. (Bill Vilona)
November 15, 2022

Kelsey Hodges was in right field, shagging fly balls at Blue Wahoos Stadium, when the University of West Florida softball player experienced a surreal moment. “I just kinda paused, looked around and thought, wow, I’m actually on this field,” said Hodges, a Milton High graduate, who will be one of

Kelsey Hodges was in right field, shagging fly balls at Blue Wahoos Stadium, when the University of West Florida softball player experienced a surreal moment.

“I just kinda paused, looked around and thought, wow, I’m actually on this field,” said Hodges, a Milton High graduate, who will be one of the Argos outfielders in the 2023 season. “It’s very special and I’m grateful to be part of a team that got to do this. The Blue Wahoos have meant a lot to Pensacola and to come out here and work out is such a great memory.”

The Argos, who wrapped up their fall practice sessions a week ago, were treated Nov. 14 to an outing at Blue Wahoos Stadium where players took batting practice, then watched a movie in the outfield.

The opportunity was set up by Tori Perkins, a Blue Wahoos group sales executive, and 2019 UWF graduate, who helped lead the Argos as a pitcher-utility player in her senior season to a 2019 Gulf South Conference championship and trip to the NCAA Division II Women’s College World Series.

“During (UWF) alumni weekend I mentioned (to UWF coaches) that I would love to have (current team) out to the stadium for a fun night,” said Perkins, who was the 2015 Florida Class 7A player of the year and led Tate High to its only state softball championship. “So, it’s very cool to have having them out here and doing something to give back to my old team. Super excited they get to experience it.”

Members of the UWF softball team loosen up before taking batting practice Nov. 14 at Blue Wahoos Stadium during a special team outing that including a movie and followed Argos fall practice ending. Bill Vilona

The players had their cell phones ready when arriving at the Blue Wahoos home team dugout. Many took selfies with the video board welcoming the team. It was the first time a women’s softball team had an outing with batting practice at the bayfront ballpark.

“When I told our (players) we were going to do this, they were just ecstatic,” said UWF coach Ashliegh McLean, in her fourth season as Argos head coach. “You get to come out and play on a field like this. And get to watch a movie with your team. We are grateful that Tori made this happen. It is a great team bonding activity.

“With our practices over for fall, this is a good time to take a break and very happy to end with something like this. (Players) are having a blast. We had a recruit on campus earlier (Nov. 14) and told her that we were coming here and she said, ‘Wow, that is so cool.

Members of UWF's softball team took batting practice Nov. 14 as part of a team outing at Blue Wahoos Stadium that followed the Argos fall practice session. Bill Vilona

“It is one of the neat things we get to do in Pensacola. We’re able to go to the beach and practice and now come here (Blue Wahoos Stadium). It is fun watching them have fun like this.”

Many of the players had previously attended a Blue Wahoos baseball game and followed the team’s progress when Pensacola won its first outright Southern League championship on September 28 in the second year as a Miami Marlins affiliate.

“It allows us to be connected to the community here,” said outfielder Ayanna Powell, who was the Blue Wahoos first NIL recipient as brand ambassador during a team promotion night April 21. “And it’s just cool to be out here. It’s good team bonding and ties the community and our program.

“It makes us all feel important. I know a lot of (teammates) were calling their parents to let them know we were going to take (batting practice) at Blue Wahoos Stadium. It’s very cool.”