By the time Tipton-Rosemark senior softball player Meredith Owen signed with Northwest Mississippi Community College at 12:45 p.m. last Friday, she had been awake for almost 10 hours.
“I’ve been up since 2:50,” Owen said with a laugh. “I kind of had a little freak out when I realized today was the day I was signing.”
Owen, whom most people call Mo, went on to thank a lot of people during her speech to about 100 people gathered in the TRA lobby. Primarily, though, she talked about Johnie Sanfratello, her coach at TRA and the father of Megan Sanfratello, a TRA student and one of her best friends.
“We kind of have a love-hate relationship, mainly hate,” she said, cracking up her audience. “Just kidding. He’s like a second dad to me.”
Johnie Sanfratello knew Owen long before he became her coach because she has spent a lot of time at his house while hanging out with Megan.
“It’s kind of a different relationship in that we had a relationship outside of softball before,” the coach said. “She can probably say a lot of things to me that I don’t allow most players to say, but i have to call her out on it now because I’m in a coaching role. Really, we have a great relationship. She’s a great player and hard worker and I know she’s going to do well.”
Owen has been a big reason for the Lady Rebels’ recent success, including a run to the state title game in 2018. A slap hitter and speedy outfielder, Owen is a career .363 hitter with 50 RBIs, 99 hits and 44 stolen bases in 48 attempts. She’s on track to rank top five all-time at TRA in games played, at-bats, batting average, hits, runs, triples and stolen bases.
“Me and Sanfran can joke around all day, but at the end of the day he wants the best for me as a player, and I know that,” Owen said. “He’s helped me tremendously with everything.”