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TJ pitchers support each other
Win or lose, when Jefferson senior Natasha Lindsey takes the mound today in the West Central District fastpitch tournament, Tony Barnette will know what she is going through.
Over the years, Lindsey and Barnette have formed a unique friendship stemming from playing the same position on the ball teams at the same high school.
Lindsey has been a key part of Jeffersons fastpitch success this year, including an undefeated regular season and the first league championship in team history.
Barnette, a senior pitcher, and the baseball team had less success this season, going 4-12 and finishing second to last in the SPSL.
But through it all, the two have remained close friends.
Its crazy that my best friend loves baseball, is a pitcher and has the same mentality as me, Lindsey said. We are exactly the same, just the opposite sex. We understand what each other is going through. If one of us has a bad game, well call and just talk about it.
Hes talked a lot more than I have this year, Lindsey added with a laugh.
While the season was rough at times for Barnette, he always knew he could talk to Lindsey to help him through it.
I few times I struggled through this season just to get by, Barnette said. I was getting kind of down becuase the season wasnt going the way I thought it would. Shed say, Tony, your trying too hard. Just go out there and do what you gotta do. Dont think. We both understand each other like theres no tomorrow.
The two dated briefly in junior high, but they both said they worked out better as friends.
A lot of people dont understand what makes us so close, Lindsey said. Its the automatic connection that we have that no one understands. He knows what to say about pitching or anything else without me having to say a word. It just goes to show that a guy and a girl can become the best of friends just by something they both love.
That friendship will be stretched next year as both graduate and go off to college.
Barnete is receiving a scholarship to play baseball at Central Arizona College. Lindsey plans to play for Shoreline Community College.
Itll be weird because she wont be around all the time, Barnette said. I know well probably talk a lot.
Im going to have to buy like 50 phone cards just to bother him, like I do every day now, Lindsey said. We always said that when were older we would live right next door to each other, so either way he wont be able to get away from me.