By Austin Bishop
The Winston County Journal
Even as a small girl, Avery Webb knew that one day she wanted to be part of the Mississippi State Baseball program.
“Being from Louisville we were state fans and went to the games while I was growing up,” Webb said. “I would see the Diamond Girls and it was just something I always wanted to do.”
Her bloodlines didn’t hurt either. Her mother, Sandra Wright Webb, was a Diamond Girl herself during her college days at MSU.
While some think of the Diamond Girls mostly as bat girls, their duties run much deeper than that. They are assigned to getting the bats and putting them back in the rack, but they also collect foul balls, make sure the umpires have what they need, tend to the bullpens on both the home and visitor side, work a merchandise booth at Dudy Noble Field and serve as ushers.
Of course when Webb first made the cut to become a Diamond Girl as a freshman, the now 20-year-old junior never thought she would be able to go to Omaha for the College World Series.
“We usually make four road trips a year, but all of us who were able got to go to Virginia (for the Super Regionals) and to the World Series,” she said. “It was so much fun. I loved it.
“We had a lot of down time because there were so many days between games,” she said. “We got to see all of the sights and the locals got to know us pretty well. All 14 of us pretty much went together wherever we went.”
At Dudy Noble home games two Diamond Girls work each dugout, while there is also one in each bullpen. At TD Ameritrade Stadium in Omaha they were only needed to handle the bats for their own dugout and didn’t take part in the foul ball duties.
“We each worked two games,” she said. “We split it up where we changed up every couple of innings to make sure each of us got a chance to work.”
Webb also got to make trips to Arkansas, Texas A&M, Vanderbilt and Ole Miss this year.
Webb said that although she always wanted to be a Diamond Girl, that making the squad was far from a sure thing.
“There are usually about 150 girls who try out each year and only six to nine make it, so it’s really not easy,” she said. But once you make the squad, you can remain part of the Diamond Girls while you are in school.
“You have to take a test with about 30 questions on it that ask you basic baseball information, as well as about the history of MSU baseball,” she said. “Since I had been following Mississippi State all of my life and knew about baseball, I did pretty well on that.”
Then comes an interview with current Diamond Girls, some of the coaches wives and sometimes even some of the players.
She said it is important that the girls know something about the program and the rules of the game.
“You don’t want the girls picking up a ball that is in play or getting in the way,” she said. “You have to know where to be and when to do what you are supposed to do.”