SPRINGDALE (KFSM) - Friday night was no average night for softball.
The only Wounded Warrior amputee softball team in the world made their way to town for an exhibition game against Tyson Foods.
Team officials said the sport provides team members a way to get away from home.
"What was missing was something competitive, where they could get with their fellow guy amputees, and have the competition,” said David Van Sleet, the team general manager. “And, [the team allows them] to talk about prosthetic technology, and life in general.”
For many of the athletes on the wounded warrior team, softball is a way to escape.
“It is important in their lives to get out and be a member of the community,” Van Sleet said. “To play a sport, be on a team at home, and travel with us on weekends.”
It was the 33rd annual Tyson softball tournament.
However, it was the first time anyone outside of Tyson has been invited to play.
"These guys are booked out way in advance, and we told them about our tournament, and they were very excited to be part of it," said Bryan McCullar, a Tyson employee. "We are lucky to get them.”
Tyson employees said the team was an inspiration for their staff.
"Overcoming adversity is a wonderful thing. These guys are all warriors at heart on both sides, and it's a great thing to watch," McCullar said.
For the wounded warriors, it is a way to return to life before their injury.
"They went through and extensive rehabilitation process, with perseverance, after their amputation,” Van Sleet said.
Team organizors say the sport is a simple, yet fun, way to share their life experiences with some of the only guys they know who can relate.
"We are the only amputee team in the world. But it is much bigger than that,” Van Sleet said. “These guys have already won, because they have survived.”
The Wounded Warrior team won the game 12 to 11.
The team travels the nation playing more than 100 games at 30 venues.