UNION, S.C. (WSPA) – We’re hearing from a heartbroken community as they mourn two college athletes who were killed in a crash.
That crash happened on Southport Road in Spartanburg on Friday night.
7 News learned how the college and its surrounding community will remember the two women.
The Lady Bantams were scheduled to host a game on Monday, but, instead, four ribbons are tied in front of their field, in honor of the four players involved in the crash.
“Their immediate reaction was ‘I don’t want to play anymore,’ but very shortly, within an hour, the girls were talking about playing for their friends,” Andrew Kingsmore said.
Andrew Kingsmore leads a bible study at USC Union and has gotten to know the athletes well, including those on the women’s softball team.
That team was hit hard when two of their strongest players died in a car accident over the weekend, but Kingsmore told 7 News their stories will live on forever.
“It’s really been wild to see how many people these girls, in their 20 or less years, have impacted,” he said. “So many people. So many people love them.”
Grace Revels was a sophomore who wore number 1 and played catcher. She was always smiling, especially on the field.
“Grace was just always a lively person,” Kingsmore said. “She was a great athlete. A lot have said she kind of carried the team for a little while. She was never a stranger to home-runs.”
Mia Stokes was a freshman who wore number 22 and played third base. She loved softball and her teammates whole-heartedly.
“Just walked and talked Jesus,” Kingsmore said. “She loved the Lord and loved her family like no other.”
That includes her twin sister, Mallory, who also plays softball at USC Union and was in the car at the time of the accident, along with Devyn Royce, the head coach’s daughter. Both were injured but are doing okay now.
Kingsmore told 7 News the college has come together and they’ve gotten a lot of support from others as well.
“Other colleges and people around this community who don’t have much involvement with the team or the campus–there’s so much prayer coming from so many different directions,” he said.
With all of those prayers, Kingsmore said he believes the team will continue to play their hearts out.
“I think they’re going to play together better than they ever have; and I think they’re going to play with a mindset and a goal in mind, more than just winning,” he said.
The softball team has a game scheduled for Saturday, February 15th, and they’re encouraging everyone to come out in support of their teammates who passed away.
A candlelight vigil and memorial service are being discussed and, as soon as we have those details, we’ll update you here.
The Union County Chamber of Commerce is planning to put up more ribbons around downtown Union for the players.
The college released the following statement:
“Our students, softball team, coaches, and campus are grieving over this traumatic event that has left us without two amazing ladies and two injured. Our campus has been overwhelmed with all of the love and support that everyone has shown. We ask for everyone to please keep us in your thoughts and prayers in the days to come.
If anyone would like to send a card, you may send them to campus, and we will mail them to the families. Please put attention to whomever the card needs to be sent to (USC Union, PO Drawer 729, Union SC 29379, Attn: name).”
South Carolina Highway Patrol is still investigating the crash.