Remembering Robyne

Published 10:55 am Tuesday, July 26, 2016

JACKSON – Seventeen men’s and women’s teams braved near-100 degree heat to participate in the inaugural Robyne Barnes Memorial Scholarship Softball Tournament here this past weekend at the Northampton County Cultural and Wellness Center.

The event was named in honor of the late Northeast Academy star who died last March in an auto accident while attending college in Rocky Mount. (Photos 1-2) Robyne’s siblings: sister Leann Barnes Howard, and brother, Larry, wore jersey number-14 in their sister’s honor.

Teams and players from as far away as Raleigh, Roxboro and Ocracoke joined in on the fun, raising money. With a three-game guarantee, everyone was in for a long hot day.

“There was no place Robyne would rather be than playing softball with her friends,” said her former coach at NEA, Wendy Odom. “She loved the sport, the competition and the friendships made. On Saturday we all honored her by fighting the heat and raising money in her memory. If no one knew her before the tournament, they walked away that day knowing who she was and with even more love for the sport.”

After the 8 a.m. start, (Photos 3-4) in the women’s bracket, RBS defeated Southern Ballers to take home the Championship for the women. For the men, Halfway House fought all day, faced Discount Customs, and held on to take the Championship in a hard, well-played game.

“Overall it was a long hot exhausting but great day of softball and fellowship,” added Odom. “This tournament could not have been a success without all the sponsors, donors, participating teams, volunteers, umpires and everyone working the concessions.”

Organizers praised the community for really coming together in memory of one fine lady that will be missed forever. The hope is to make the tournament an annual event. (Photo 5: Lori Barnes, Robyne’s mother, (middle) with Joella and John Brown)

“If there is just one thing we all can take from this event would be to continue to spread the love and passion for softball as Robyne did every time she stepped on the field,” Odom stated. “When it came to the game of softball, Robyne was a fierce competitor but when the last pitch was thrown and the last out was made, Robyne was your best friend and a true ambassador of the game.”