Seven Tri-City United Titan seniors put on their uniforms for the final time in a fast pitch "varsity" softball game honoring them Tuesday night, July 21 at Jaycee Park in Lonsdale.
They never got a chance to play a game this year, because the COVID-19 pandemic virus led to the cancellation of the season.
But senior graduate Keilee Westlie decided to organize the reunion game to give the seniors a final fling in the game they have played together since they were 10U players. Now 18, they've played 10 to 12 years through summer ball, fall ball and winter dome ball.
Westlie said she put together the game because, "It was getting towards the end of the summer, and I saw that a lot of teams are playing softball. I missed it a lot, so I connected with all the girls, and we decided to play a doubleheader for our last game as seniors."
The senior Titan girls are: pitcher Keilee Westlie, second baseman Sydney Sartori, shortstop Ellie Singleton, center fielder Lily Barnes, left fielder Cohl Paggen, right fielder Jaylyn Schefler and team manager Brooke Holicky, who couldn't play because she was injured.
"This is the first group of girls raised through the Titans Fastpitch Softball Association, and the coaches that will be there have coached them since they started playing and have been board members of the association," Parent Kari Sartori said on Facebook.
Prior to the game, the seven lined up on the infield with gift bags by their side like it was senior night, while underclassmen emotionally spoke about their teammates over the public address system.
Then, after hugs and well wishes between teammates, it was game time.
They played a spirited doubleheader in front a crowd of more than 100 people who included family, friends, former coaches and Titans Fastpitch Softball Association members.
Although the Southwest Wildcats of Savage swept the doubleheader, the Titans put up a good fight coming back from trailing.
The final game gives the 2020 seniors a chance at what was supposed to be a very successful season, Kari Sartori said on Facebook. "It is truly going to be a magical, emotional night. I may be biased, but these girls are something special that this community has raised."
They didn't get a chance to practice prior to the game, but Westlie said, "We just threw this together and played our hearts out."
Finally getting a chance to play together "means a lot," Westlie said. "There's a lot of emotions in this game and mostly excitement. But I know towards the end of the game, it's a little bit sad."
But she added that, "It's a very exciting end to our senior softball career. We're very grateful that we get to do this. And we're thankful for ump Gary Novak who came out today for us. We're thankful for the community of Lonsdale for letting us play on their facilities."
Westlie also appreciated the turnout of the crowd.
"There's a lot of people here today, a lot of family members coming out to watch their daughters and sisters for the last time."
However, Westlie said, "Us girls are talking about getting a beer [slow pitch softball] league together when we're 21."