Upstate law enforcement play charity softball game in wheelchairs

MAULDIN, S.C. (WSPA) – Upstate law enforcement got a whole new perspective on Saturday as they took the field for a charity softball game on wheels.

Officers took on the Carolinas’ only wheelchair softball team to raise money for and empower people with disabilities.

“It’s all hard. You’ve gotta throw the swing different at the plate. Reach over and pick up the ball,” said Ashley Cramer with the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office.

Whether or not they’ve played softball before, this is a whole new ball game.

“It’s challenging trying to learn how to get around in a wheelchair, to be able to swing differently. I played softball all my life and then doing this it was totally different,” said Brian Harbin, Staff Sergeant for the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office.

It may be a new perspective for these officers, but this is life for the athletes who make up the Carolina Maulers team, one of only 3 wheelchair softball teams on the East Coast.

“It isn’t about the score. It’s about putting them in chairs and seeing what we go through and how we play the game because the game’s played the same. We’re just sitting down, that’s all,” said head coach and player for the Carolina Maulers Byron Armentrout.

The game raised money for the Maulers and local non-profit R.O.A.R. which stands for Resdiscovering Outdoor Activities and Recreation.

“It was great last year just to see how much law enforcement got into it. When they got here, they ate in chairs, they did everything in chairs so they really took it in. Coming from a guy that’s been in a chair for 22 years, that was pretty impressive,” said Mike Hudson, founder of R.O.A.R.

It’s all about showing people with disabilities there’s no limit to what they can do.

“Until you experience it yourself, you see the struggle they’re dealing with everyday and they make it look like it’s easy. They hammered us last year. I don’t even know what the score was but it was bad. We had a great time though. It was fun,” Harbin said.

For the second year in a row, the Carolina Maulers beat the Blue Bloods by a wide margin.

Both the Maulers and R.O.A.R. are non-profits that depend on donations to run. To donate to R.O.A.R. click here.

The Maulers are raising money to get the team to Nationals in Texas. For more information and to donate, click here.

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