"Cute, but intimidating" is what photographer Betsy Gregory was going for when she recently shot pictures of her daughter's tee-ball team.
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The team photo that was originally posted to Facebook and Sports Illustrated Kids highlights 12 of the 13 members of Freeze, a tee-ball team based in Edmond, Oklahoma. All of the girls are between the ages of 4 and 5.
Although they are young, and as Gregory says, sometimes too young to understand what’s happening on the field, she hopes that the photo’s message will resonate with female athletes of any age.
“I think a lot of young women see the picture as empowering — empowering from the sense that you can be cute, sparkly and tough, and that’s okay,” Gregory told TODAY.com. “Beauty comes from the inside and that’s what we want to teach these girls. That you can do things and be pretty, but what is inside is what matters most.”
It’s mostly been a learning experience for the girls — and that’s exactly what the mothers had hoped it would be.
Every little girl on the team went into it knowing at least one other. They are from neighboring towns in Oklahoma and most attend school together. In fact, it was actually at a dance lesson this past fall where some of the mothers originally joked about starting a 6U tee-ball team. Gregory says that collectively, the moms are all about having their daughters try a little bit of everything.
“We only won one game the entire season— the girls never knew! We just approached it as a learning year for them to get introduced to a sport they had never played before.”
Typically during games, a few girls are really into it, while the rest are picking flowers, chasing butterflies, or sitting with their parents when not up to bat.
So when they did win their first game, it was more a victory for the moms.
“To watch them grow was fun and to have them taste that bit of success was sweet,” Gregory said.
But in the end, the girls say it’s the snacks that make being on team Freeze so sweet.