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Meet the Local Softball Pitcher Whose Dodgeball Video Went Viral

Adyson poses with her dad
Ryan Denham
Viral video star Adyson Slayback, right, with her father, JJ.

When you play dodgeball against Adyson Slayback, good luck trying to actually dodge the ball.

The 15-year-old softball pitcher from Heyworth became an Internet sensation this week when a video of her annihilating two of her friends in dodgeball went viral. It’s been watched millions of times and was shown on ESPN, USAToday.com, Ellentube, and local TV newscasts.

In the 25-second video, Adyson uses her underhand softball pitching style—she can throw around 60 miles per hour—to knock out the two other girls. The videographer is her proud father and coach, JJ Slayback, who took a dodgeball to the face himself before pressing record.

“Everyone at school is like, ‘Oh, I know a famous person,’” Slayback said Sunday, one week after her father posted the video on Facebook. “It’s just been crazy.”

The dodgeball game took place at a practice for the Bloomington-Normal Girls Softball Association’s Angels travel team, as a way to blow off steam. JJ Slayback has coached Adyson and the Angels for the past six years. (And no, he’s not proud of his off-camera giggling you can hear on the video.)

Less than 24 hours after JJ Slayback shared the video on his personal Facebook page and with a few private softball Facebook groups, it had nearly 200,000 views. All week, he was fielding requests from media outlets like ESPN and MLB Network asking for permission to air the video.

“It’s just been insane. It’s unbelievable,” he said.

Adyson actually beaned about five other girls before her dad starting recording. The two girls whose dodgeball destruction went viral took it all in stride too, Adyson said.

But on Friday, Adyson’s classmates at Heyworth High School weren’t so easygoing during physical education, or PE, class.

“All the kids were gunning for me and all trying to get me out because of all this. I was like, come on,” said Adyson, who hopes to play softball in college.

“It’s been a great experience this week,” JJ adds. “It’s been awesome.”

Listen to an interview with Adyson and JJ Slayback that aired on GLT's Sound Ideas.

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Ryan Denham is the digital content director for WGLT.
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