If you ever wanted to go to a high school softball game, you need to be at Lakeview Park next Monday, Sept. 10.
Washington is hosting St. Francis Borgia Regional in the inaugural “Rivals for a Reason” game. First pitch is scheduled for 4:30 p.m.
The teams haven’t played a regular season game in the last few seasons and this marks the start of a new run of games between the two Washington schools.
The teams are using the game as a rallying point to raise funds for Friends of Kids With Cancer as both schools have been touched by cancer.
The event was spearheaded by players from both teams. While they might be wearing different uniforms on the field and trying to win the game, they’re fighting for the same cause — beating cancer.
Borgia senior first baseman Josie Lindemann has seen the effects of cancer up close, maybe too close.
Josie’s older sister, Stephanie, has been fighting since being diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma following the 2015 season. Stephanie was Borgia’s standout third baseman hitting .470 with power as a junior while fighting a nagging leg injury for much of the season. The cancer was found when the injury was checked out.
Stephanie Lindemann graduated in 2017 and is a student at East Central College.
Washington has its own fighter, Paige Babbs, currently a senior. Friends of Kids with Cancer has supported both Lindemann and Babbs and that prompted the players to come together to want to donate to that charity.
Since the two schools are in different conferences and classes, the game has little competitive meaning other than bragging rights. These teams would rather brag about helping a good organization in fighting cancer, though.
Union football fans will get the chance to honor a legend next Friday.
Longtime football Head Coach Del Rinne will be honored by having the Stierberger Stadium field named after him in a pregame ceremony.
There will be a reception at 6:15 p.m. in the main gym lobby followed by the on-field presentation at 6:45 p.m.
Rinne, who also was the school’s athletic director, led the Wildcats for 26 seasons and was an assistant coach for three additional years.
It’s fitting that Rinne is being honored by the school. His first Wildcat team to play in Stierberger Stadium was ranked first in Class 4A for much of the season. It wasn’t the only outstanding team he coached. He led the 1983 Wildcats to the Class 4A state championship game.
Rinne is one of many area coaches and athletes who would be a good addition to the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame, but somehow aren’t. Honestly, it’s about time that we have some more area athletes and coaches inducted in the Springfield museum. It’s well past time for some, but it needs to be done. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I can send you a nomination form as I couldn’t locate a location for it online. It’s time we change this situation.
Farmers probably would like to see more Union Softball Tournaments.
“I’m pretty sure if we need rain, all we have to do is schedule the Union Tournament,” Union Head Coach Tiffany Poggas said. “It almost never fails to rain out.”
The school was ready to roll out a whole new format Friday and Saturday, Aug. 24-25, but heavy rain hit at the wrong time and the Veterans Memorial Park complex was not playable.
Union hopes to run the tournament Sept. 15, but is working to switch up the format to accommodate the teams who can come and switch from a two-day round-robin event to a one-day bracket competition.
New Haven’s softball tournament also was washed out by the infrequent rain two days before the event. Athletic Director Ray Steinhoff said the school is looking to push forward with a four-team event Saturday, Sept. 8.
It’s hard to get smacked with a delay on the opening weekend of the season, and with the schedule being so compact in trying to get the district tournaments done in early October, it leaves little time for regrouping. Kudos to the local schools for being able to make something out of what became a bad situation.