Country Goes to Bat!
updated 09/08/2010 AT 01:00 AM EDT
•originally published 09/08/2010 AT 01:00 AM EDT
BACK ROW: Oak Ridge Boy William Lee Golden, Ben Broussard, Whitney Duncan, Savannah Jack's Mike Ulvila, Don Gatlin and Jay Darby, Josh Thompson; MIDDLE ROW: Randy Montana, Chuck Wicks, Keith Anderson, Oak Ridge Boys' Richard Sterban, Duane Allen and Joe Bonsall; FRONT ROW: Gloriana's Rachel Reinert and Mike Gossin, David Nail, Joe Nichols, Luke Bryan.
THE GRAND OLE OPRY TEAM
BACK ROW: Colt Ford, Justin Moore, Vince Gill (who actually played for After MidNite), Felix Cavaliere, Love and Theft's Stephen Barker Liles, Jason Aldean, Gloriana's Tom Gossin, Love and Theft's Eric Gunderson; MIDDLE ROW: Craig Morgan, Love and Theft's Brian Bandas, Julianne Hough, Jaron Lowenstein, The Band Perry's Reid Perry, Trailer Choir's Crystal, Butter and Big Vinny; FRONT ROW: Carrie Underwood, Cheyenne Kimball, The Band Perry's Neil and Kimberly Perry, Mallary Hope, Two Foot Fred.
Play ball! Country stars showed off their athletic-and not-so-athletic-sides (and no, we're not naming names, Vince Gill!) at the 20th Annual City of Hope Celebrity Softball Challenge at Greer Stadium June 7. "There's not much skill involved for this game," explains singer-turned-shortstop Joe Nichols of the all-in-good-fun game, which serves as the unofficial kickoff to the CMA Music Festival and also raises money for cancer treatment programs and research. "You just go out there and goof off."
Goofing off aside, Nashville's finest were still in it to win it. "My strategy is to look for the other team's weakness and exploit it," says Nichols. And it paid off: Nichols' After MidNite team beat the Grand Ole Opry 15-10 in extra innings. "I'm definitely competitive," says Carrie Underwood, who was on the losing team, "but I wish I had more skill to back up my trash talk."
Perhaps the biggest winner of the day was Vince Gill, who also admitted to having a strategy. "I've played every year since it started, and I've never been injured," says Gill, "Because I stay away from the ball!"