Tubbs returns home for her final season
By Andy Collier
Sports Editor, The Bolivar Bullet
After four years of playing softball at the University of West Alabama, Cleveland native Chrissy Tubbs will be returning home for her last year playing this sport.
Tubbs, an outfielder/utility player, announced last month that she will transfer to Delta State University. Tubbs was a standout softball star at Bayou Academy for many years on the high school level. The transfer will allow Tubbs to play on the same team one more time with former high school teammate and current DSU shortstop Kailyn Lofton. Tubbs, who has a 4.0 grade-point average, was able to have an extra year of eligibility due to the COVID-19 pandemic which prematurely ended the 2020 season.
Tubbs said the main reason for the transfer was for educational purposes.
“I graduated from UWA in December of 2020,” said Tubbs. “I tried to start a master’s program there, so I wouldn’t have to leave. They really didn’t offer me any curriculum that would help me get into law school. I tried it for a semester, and I finished the year there. I didn’t think I was progressing with my education, so I knew I had a decision to make. I could either hang my cleats up and say it’s been a good four years or I could get my master’s in criminology, something that could help me go into law school for Delta State, and get to play my last year with my best friend. I decided to do that instead. I just wasn’t ready to hang’em up.”
Tubbs will be coming to DSU after having an excellent 2021 season where she hit .310 with 13 RBIs and 16 runs scored. She posted a career-high .368 on-base percentage and was tied for 10th in the Gulf South Conference in stolen bases with 17.
This year marked the first time Tubbs hit over .300 since her freshman year when she hit .319 in 2018. In her four years at West Alabama, she posted a .295 career average with 104 hits, 41 RBIs, 61 runs scored and 49 stolen bases in 155 games with 121 starts. Her 49 steals are tied for second on the school’s all-time career list.
“I think West Alabama gave me friends that I’ll have for the rest of my life,” said Tubbs. “I know some of them that are going to continue playing there are upset that I’m leaving and even more upset that it’s a team in conference. They still love me, and they’re still my friends. I’ll still have them after all of this is over. I think I’ve grown a lot underneath Coach Carie (Dever-Boaz). I came in with a good group and most of us stayed together. I built collaboration skills, learned how to work as a team and how to be a leader as well. I’m excited that I get to go to Delta State, and I figure I will learn here too.”
DSU Head Softball Coach Casey Charles was excited about having Tubbs on the team.
“Chrissy is a great athlete and a fine student,” said Charles. “She had a great four-year career at UWA and put up some impressive numbers. She is an aggressive, but patient hitter that has great speed and knowledge on the bases. She is also a great defender. Her ability on the field is matched by her character as a teammate and young adult. She is well respected by her teammates and peers. She will make an immediate impact on our team, and we are thrilled that she decided to join Delta State this season.”
Tubbs and Lofton go way back as they played travel ball together during their youth. In their time as teammates at Bayou, they were instrumental in the Lady Colts winning the 2013 AA State Championship. They were also both selected to play in the Midsouth Association of Independent Schools AAA-AAAA All-Star Fast Pitch Softball game in 2016. The two were stellar basketball players at Bayou as well.
When West Alabama and DSU played each other this past year in a three-game series in March, Tubbs and Lofton put on a clinic. Lofton went 4-for-7 with two RBIs and a run scored, while Tubbs went 4-for-11 with two RBIs and four runs scored. Despite going to different schools in the same conference, they always maintained their friendship.
“Playing against her was always fun,” said Tubbs about Lofton. “We’re both competitive people. It will even be more fun getting to play with her again. I played with Kailyn for a long time. We played at Bayou together and played years of travel ball together. In all of the years that Kailyn and I played against each other, we would text each other scouting reports about the other teams trying to help each other out. Even in the four years apart, we still had collaboration skills going on. It was kind of like she never left my life even in the softball world.”
Lofton was thrilled to be able to have her friend back as a teammate one more time.
“I’m excited for Chrissy coming back,” said Lofton. “There’s no other way to end our softball careers than being back together. We played together all of those years and finishing our last year together is something we never expected and wouldn’t have been possible without the Coronavirus. We grew to love the game together and having that friendship there all the time. We played on travel ball teams from Cleveland together and eventually moved on and played on teams in Jackson together and teams from Southaven together. We really traveled a lot together for softball. It makes it more special with her, so ending it with her is going to be something fun.”
No matter rather it was playing at Bayou Academy or coming down from West Alabama to play Delta State, Tubbs has always loved playing in her hometown.
Tubbs has high hopes for 2022.
“I’m looking forward to getting on the field again and getting back to my hometown,” said Tubbs. “I really hope that people that grew up watching me and Kailyn will come out to support both of us on the field again. It was always a real comfortable feeling playing here at home in high school. Even when I came back to play against Delta State, it was comfortable. I always do well when I come back. I’m hoping that will transfer over playing here more often.”