All-Star Softball Notes: Baldwin gives back to the game as game's lone umpire

·2 min read
The Monroe County All-Star Softball game at Monroe High School comes to an end Wednesday, June 22, 2022 with the players from the West beating the East 8-5.
The Monroe County All-Star Softball game at Monroe High School comes to an end Wednesday, June 22, 2022 with the players from the West beating the East 8-5.

Kelley Baldwin was the lone umpire for Wednesday’s Monroe County All-Star Softball Game at Monroe’s Vince Rossi Field.

She has a unique history with the game. She played in it after her senior year at Ida in 1993 and has twice served as a coach in the game in 1999 with Dundee and in 2016 when she was the head coach at Erie Mason.

She has umpired in the game several times.

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“I was telling the girls that this is cool,” she said. “It doesn’t have to end when you are done playing. You can coach or umpire.”

St. Mary Catholic Central coach Dani Williams and Monroe coach Jim Davis, who organized the game, tried to get a second umpire to work with Baldwin but were unsuccessful in their efforts.

Williams also is a former player in the game. She played in 2008 after graduating from Jefferson.

Umpire Kelley Baldwin looks on as Jenna Kapp of SMCC attempts to catch a foul ball for the East in the Monroe County All-Stars at Monroe High School Wednesday, June 22, 2022. The West won the game over the East 8-5.
Umpire Kelley Baldwin looks on as Jenna Kapp of SMCC attempts to catch a foul ball for the East in the Monroe County All-Stars at Monroe High School Wednesday, June 22, 2022. The West won the game over the East 8-5.

“I remember I played for Jon LaBeau, who was the coach for (St. Mary) Catholic Central,” she said. “Now, I am coaching there.”

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Milan's second-year coach Kirk Davis got his first taste of the Monroe County All-Star Game.

He was very impressed.

"This is a great thing," he said. "I hope we keep it going."

He said throwing a bunch of girls from different schools into one dugout was not a problem at all.

"These girls all play travel ball," he said. "They have been playing with each other or against each other since 9U or 10u."

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The East coaching staff got a last-minute shuffle.

Flat Rock’s Haylee Simpson was originally supposed to be the head coach, but she had to go out of town at the last minute. Greg Simpson, her husband and assistant at Flat Rock, agreed to take over.

He recruited Jefferson coach Chad Liptow to work with him, knowing he would be there to watch his daughter Lily Liptow play.

“I got a text at 9 a.m. saying he needed help,” Liptow said.

Liptow is no stranger to All-Star Games.

“I’ve coached in six baseball All-Star Games,” the former Gibraltar Carlson coach said. “It was nice to coach in this one.”

Vanessa White of Milan makes a nice running catch, with West teammate Kayla Turner right there as well in the Monroe County All-Stars at Monroe High School Wednesday, June 22, 2022. The West won the game over the East 8-5.
Vanessa White of Milan makes a nice running catch, with West teammate Kayla Turner right there as well in the Monroe County All-Stars at Monroe High School Wednesday, June 22, 2022. The West won the game over the East 8-5.

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Milan’s Vanessa White of the West team was in the opposite dugout as Macy Collett of Monroe, but they will be united next year.

Both will play for Schoolcraft College.

“We were together at a camp this morning,” White said.

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The Star-Spangled Banner received extra respect.

When the national anthem was played before the softball game, some players practicing on Monroe’s adjacent baseball field stopped to pay tribute.

This article originally appeared on The Monroe News: All-Star Softball Notes: Baldwin gives back to the game as game's lone umpire