At the Joe on Saturday evening, a motley crew of celebrities gathered to square off in a softball game to benefit Louie’s Kids. The second annual Slim Down the South game was threatened by a thunderstorm, which probably contributed to the very slim attendance by both the players and the ticket-holders. But the evening turned out to be gorgeous and the show went on.

Opening the game, country crooner and S.C. native Julie Roberts belted out the national anthem in a slick Nashville style.  Local chanteuse Quiana Parler then dazzled the crowd with her vocal prowess and mad style, singing “God Bless America” in a bright orange top.

A trio of reality stars from the Bachelor/ette shows added some real heat to Team McElveen: Tenley Molzahn, Kiptyn Locke, and especially the hunky Roberto Martinez, who is conveniently both a former minor league baseball player and a former Charlestonian. Roberto was all smiles as he caught a fly ball in the outfield early in the game for an out against Team Baker and then promptly made a base hit.

But Team Baker ended up winning the game 5-3 with a trio of talented chefs at bat: local TV host Bob Waggoner, Food Network’s Amanda Freitag, and cookbook author Marvin Woods, a favorite role model for Louie’s Kids with his emphasis on healthy eating.  

The softball game was both a fundraiser and a way to demonstrate the importance of the real work done by Louie’s Kids year-round by fighting childhood obesity one kid at a time. ­