Bill Murray and Darius Rucker play the field for Louie's Kids 

Celebrity Softball Smackdown

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Attendees at the Slim Down the South celebrity softball game at the Joe were buzzing about the perfect weather on Saturday. On the field, Louis Yuhasz looked upwards and gave a big shout-out to his dad. “I’m sure he’s responsible for this weather,” he said. The event was a fundraiser for Run Buddies, a Louie’s Kids program that keeps teens motivated to exercise.

Mayor Riley also welcomed the crowd, boldly proclaiming, “If we all get behind Louis, we can end childhood obesity in America!” Sincere mayoral props to Riley for a strong first pitch to Darius Rucker. Joe can throw, which is great since the ballpark is named after him.

Piggly Wiggly team captain Darius Rucker performed double duty by singing a beautiful and pitch-perfect National Anthem (without a hint of twang), causing girls of all ages to get a bit starry-eyed. Some of the celebs on his team really shined on the field. Bubba Bryant, the studly young actor from Army Wives, impressively caught a deep drive to left field and hit a home run. Catcher Heba Salama of The Biggest Loser made three easy outs by grabbing fly balls from Murray’s Wells Fargo team batters.

The team captains took some funny jabs at each other throughout the game. At bat, Murray sported a white Gilligan-style hat and made a solid hit to the outfield. He then casually ran to second base, and Rucker joked, “Way to turn a triple into a double with that SPEED!” Murray responded quickly, “I want to know if HE can hit the ball that far. Is he scared to even play? This is about manhood, ladies and gentlemen.”

Rucker’s team won the game 6-3, but Murray’s team won the hot dance-off between the team mascots: Piggly Wiggly’s Pig and Charlie the RiverDog. In the end, the kids win when we support programs like Run Buddies that make an impact locally.

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