Softball: Loiselle moved by team support after uncle’s death
Hinsdale Central's Kelly MacKenzie delivers a pitch, during the Red Devils' win over St. Joseph. | Jon Langham~for Sun-Times Media
Updated: June 4, 2012 11:27AM
The day before playing in the Romeoville Take-a-Swing-at-Cancer softball tournament, Jen Loiselle’s uncle lost his long battle with cancer in Michigan.
Loiselle’s teammates from Hinsdale Central rallied around their senior left fielder, who continued to play in the six-team tournament with a theme that cut closer to home more than ever before.
The Red Devils actually won at least a share of the weather-abbreviated tournament with three wins Friday night with some games played under the lights at Volunteer Park.
Saturday’s final rounds were rained out.
The tournament was designed to promote cancer awareness and raise funds for cancer research with teams divided into a Pink Pool and a Blue Pool in familiar colors signifying breast cancer and prostate cancer prevention.
Loiselle played with a heavy heart. Her uncle, Steve Wolf, died at age 54 from lung cancer. Steve was the brother of Loiselle’s mother, Mary.
“It was definitely difficult. It was very hard news to receive. We loved him so much,” Loiselle said. “My teammates have been supportive as well as the coaches.”
After the tournament, Loiselle’s teammates signed a game ball and presented it to Loiselle, a Westmont resident, who also played on the girls basketball team in the winter.
The Red Devils (12-12) ended a three-game losing streak by beating Argo, Bremen and Resurrection at the tournament. Entering this week, Hinsdale Central will host Montini in a nonconference doubleheader at 10 a.m. Saturday.
Hinsdale Central’s last win before the losing streak was a 7-4 victory over Willowbrook in the first game of a doubleheader April 21. The winning pitcher was Annemarie Tracey while Emma Day and Kelly McKenzie homered.
After speaking with Loiselle, she sent the following comment via email later:
“As a team we were already excited to take part in a tournament with such a great cause, but after I received the very sad news, it made the tournament all the more meaningful for me. Being able to do so well in the tournament meant so much to me and my family. My teammates and coaches have been so supportive over the last few days. I was honored and moved to receive the signed game ball from my team, but I can’t thank them enough for playing so hard to win three games in a tournament with such personal meaning.”