Tunstall softball team advances, with the support of a mentor

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PITTSYLVANIA CO.,Va. (WDBJ7) -- "One Walk," said the announcer.

The score is low. "No hits, no runs."

The game had just begun.

Right now it is post season for Tunstall High School's softball team.
Coach Jenna Rudder has been around the game her entire life - and her dad has been there too.

"Graduating from high school ten years ago, and then playing four years at the collegiate level, it teaches you a lot," said Rudder.

But Rudder's dad, Jeff, is not on the field. He's above it. A seat no one ever thought Jeff would have to take.

"Well life changes on a daily basis really," said Nancy Rudder, Jeff's wife.

We first introduced you to this family in 2016. Jeff suffered a total of three massive strokes between 2009 and 2011.They took away his speech, and he's had to relearn how to walk. New challenges come daily.

"Jeff can no longer really eat solid foods, so I have to puree up everything," said Nancy.

There are also a fair share of victories.

"It's more like he's stuck with me," said Abby Wallace.

Since she was a little girl, Wallace, a senior on the team now, has clung on to Jeff. It was only fitting he walked her down the field for senior night.

"I know in my heart that its not the last game that he's gonna be there for me but its the last high school game," said Wallace.

A memory Abby will cherish during her final games. She hopes her team will go all the way to the state championship game.

"And really by all accounts, he shouldn't be here with us. But he is," said Nancy.

Through every win, and through every loss, Jeff stays put.
He eyes the players, Abby, Jenna, communicating in his own special way.

Letting them know, that on and off the field, he's gonna keep fighting for them and with them.