CHATHAM, NJ - For the second year in a row, Chatham hosted an invitational baseball and softball tournament in efforts to raise money for breast cancer. It began last year, with the softball team raising money because one of the mothers was diagnosed with breast cancer, but this year everyone got involved.
Carolyn Cherry, who has a son on the baseball team and a daughter who played on the softball team, organized the tournament. With the help of many volunteers, the event was a success, she said. It was really all about the coaches at the schools who told the students about the great opportunity to play and help a good cause, Cherry said. Cherry said the goal was to raise $1,000 at the baseball tournament and hopefully makes this an annual event in the future.
The baseball tournament featured Summit, Mountain Lakes, Chatham and Bernardsville and all of their games were played at the high school. The softball games were played at the middle school and included Chatham, Hillsboro, St. John Vianney and West Essex. Mountain Lakes defeated Chatham in the championship game 9 to 7; while the Chatham girls won both of their games beating two of the best teams in the state.
Volunteers Emily Sorrentino and Claire O’Connor, who both have brothers on the Cougars, said this was a great opportunity to help out a good cause and watch their brothers play.
“We love baseball,” Sorrentino said.
Until two years ago, Chatham and Summit were bitter cross town rivals in the same conference for baseball, but now they are in different conferences, so this was a huge game. With both teams entering the day with identical records of 4-2 this game was simply about bragging rights. While home field advantage was there to assist the Cougars, Jets Coach Rex Ryan was in the stands to cheer ion his Seth, the pitcher for the Hilltoppers.
Robert Raiola, whose son Robert is a sophomore and the right fielder said he was excited for the game and thought it was great how the tournament raised money for breast cancer.
“It’s a really good thing that they’re doing,” Raiola said. “He’d love to beat Summit.”
He added his son always likes to give back to the community and help whenever he can.
While the softball team knocked off West Essex in the championship, the bigger accomplishment was beating second ranked in the state St. John Vianney. The Cougars are now 8-0 and led by Coach Alexis Davies. Davies said they were loose coming into the game and knew it was an out of conference game, so it wouldn’t affect them if they lost.
“We looked at this game as an experience,” she said.
But with the game on the line in the bottom of the seventh inning and players on first and second, McCall Moore stepped to the plate. After being passive on her first two at bats, she was aggressive on her final one and made it count by driving home the winning run.
“My last time up I took a deep breath,” Moore said.
All of the proceeds from the tournament will be donated to the Susan G. Komen Fund.