Graduating in style

On this job, if you want to call it that, you’re always learning. Every game is a new experience. Something you’ve never seen before is always just around the corner. It happened to me a couple of times in Machesney Park today.

In the Harlem Sectional softball final, a game which saw its starting time change three times and took place on a baseball field that wasn’t actually located at Harlem High School (sorry, I’ll get back to the point), the highlight during the thriller was a walk-off, inside-the-park home run by a catcher (Crystal Lake South senior Gina DeFano) in the Gators’ 1-0 win over South Elgin. I probably won’t ever see that again.

The highlight of the postgame celebration provided another first. Since seniors DeFano, winning pitcher Jessica Gable, Natalie Andrade, Michelle Bump, Emily Tillman and Becky Yaworski were unable to attend their graduation today due to the contest, the school brought the ceremony to them. Parents and fans gathered around home plate as six seniors put on their caps and gowns. They walked down the third base line and through a tunnel of bats held by their teammates as South A.D. Jim Stuglis called their names one-by-one and handed them their diplomas.

Good stuff.

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