SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ - The South Plainfield Parents Ponytail Association (SPPPA) hosted its third annual Trista Moretti Memorial Day Softball Tournament at Ponytail Park on May 28-29. 

Prior to the start of the tournament, which was for girls 12 years-old and under, a special tribute to Trista was held on Saturday at 10:45 a.m. Members of the Moretti family, including Trista’s parents, Fred and Judy, sister Jennifer Moretti-Crespo and nieces and nephews, were among those in attendance. CC McCormick sang the National Anthem, Mayor Matt Anesh spoke and Fred Moretti threw out the ceremonial first pitch. Councilman Derryck White was also in attendance.

“It is wonderful that the association thought to honor our daughter this way,” said Fred.

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Trista, a lifelong resident and 1998 graduate of South Plainfield High School, attended William Paterson University where she studied education in hopes of one day becoming a teacher.  Following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, Trista enlisted in the United States Army and graduated from basic training at Fort Leonard Wood, MO in June 2003 as a member of the Charlie Company 3rd Battalion, 10th Infantry.

Trista went on to attend AIT training at Goodfellow Air Force Base in Texas and proceeded to Fort Benning, GA where she completed Airborne Training and received her wings. She stationed in San Antonio, TX until 2005 when she made the honorable decision to re-enlist early and was reassigned to the 425th Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 4th h Brigade Team 9 (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division of Fort Richardson, Alaska.  After training for approximately one year in Alaska, her unit was activated October of 2006 and deployed to Iraq.

Sgt. Trista L. Moretti had just celebrated her 27th birthday 11 days before her life was suddenly cut short in Nasir Lafitah, Iraq.  On the afternoon of June 25, 2007, Trista’s base was attacked by insurgents using indirect fire. Having just come off of work, Trista was killed when a mortar hit her sleeping quarters where she was said to be preparing for an upcoming assignment.

For her ultimate sacrifice, Trista, was awarded the Purple Heart Medal, the Bronze Star Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Iraq Campaign Medal, and the Army Commendation Medal.  She also received The Army Good Conduct Ribbon, the Army Service Ribbon, the National Defense Service Medal Ribbon, the Army Overseas Service Ribbon, and the NCO Professional Development Ribbon.

“Trista will always be remembered as a loving daughter, beautiful sister, and loyal friend,” said Mayor Anesh. “The world is a better place because of her and we will proudly carry her memory on in our hearts.  She is free now to have as many adventures as she so chooses and we cannot wait to see her amazing smile and hear her contagious laugh. Ironically born on our nation’s Flag Day, Trista died protecting our Red, White and Blue and the absolute freedom it stands for.”

The teams who competed in the Trista Moretti Memorial Day Softball Tournament included the South Plainfield Tigers White and the South Plainfield Tigers Green along with the Marlboro Mayhem, the Old Bridge Lightning, the Chatham Sparks and the Merrill Park Lady Mustangs.

The teams battled it out on Saturday and, during Sunday’s semifinals, the South Plainfield 12 U White defeated Marlboro but ultimately lost to Chatham in the championship game while South Plainfield 12U Green won against Merrill Park but also lost to Chatham. 

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