People typically know two things about Annie Fleming.
One is where to find her.
“Every summer, I am at the ball park,” said Fleming. “My friends might have be at the pool but I’m at the ball park getting better.”
And the other is how she wears her hair.
“That was how you spotted who she was,” said longtime friend Kenzie Parker. “If you were told to guard Annie Fleming,it was ‘Oh, the girl with the bun.”
That’s right, Fleming has sported an old school bun for as long as she can remember. And she says, as long as she can remember, people have been fascinated with it.
“It’s really fun, it puts a smile on my face,” said Fleming, who is a senior infielder on the University of Illinois softball team. “It makes the game fun.”
Nowadays, her hair may be more popular than Fleming. The Illini made a trading card for The Bun in the spring.
And The Bun has its own Twitter account, managed by some of Fleming’s high school teammates.
“Every time she does something awesome, which is pretty frequent, The Bun will tweet
something,” said Parker, who played softball with Fleming at Peoria Notre Dame. “It’s usually a pun of some sort.”
The tweets tout Fleming as being “bun-believable” after hitting home runs, for example.
“It’s always fun to see what they say,” Fleming said,. “My (Illini) teammates say, ‘What did The Bun tweet today?’ I have no idea.”
It’s “bun-thinkable” to imagine how much fun The Bun could have in Fleming’s final season in Champaign.
“If it brings attention to the sport,” Fleming said. “That’s even better for me.”