The first-ever CMS Softball Alumni game was a big success. Several alumnae arrived on campus Friday night creating excitement as old friends and teammates reconnected. A tremendous atmosphere for the game followed as alumnae from 1998 forward turned out in force with over 20 returnees assembling to face the 2012 team.
Afforded the luxuries of four outs per inning and five outfielders across the green, the alumni put together a solid game behind the pitching of legend Kristine Zoch, holder of 11 of 14 CMS Softball Pitching Records (both single season and career). Though a little bit older, the always smart Zoch held the current squad down through two innings before "re-retiring." Though she may not have had quite the gas she once did, all in attendance could sense how tremendous she had once been and enjoyed playing with her and against her a great deal. Her poise, composure and confidence shone through and made a strong impression on many of the younger Athenas.
Many other noteworthy alumnae drew applause and appeared to have not lost a step. Kirstin Wilson, Tina Hamayasu, Jess Vaughn and Shannon McKenna teamed up for sharp, crisp infield play with Hamayasu making a couple of plays worthy of any shortstop anywhere. Former hurlers Dianna Buckett, Julia Cruz, Kristen Linscott and Erika Dietz collectively kept the 2012 bats off balance and outfielders Michelle Harvey, Abbey Hye, Emily Coleman, Sam Weiner and Gizelle Pera commanded balls in the air as well as sparking the offense for the "old-timers." In grand fashion, a bases loaded home-to-one double play from Hamayasu to Katerina Yale to Stephanie McCarty ended the contest.
Joy and good cheer filled the day and set the mood from start to finish. Old friends and teammates smiled, laughed and shared memories at a dinner and impromptu story telling that capped off the day. Several nuggets were imparted particularly regarding the opportunity to compete that most alumnae have not been able to replicate since graduation. Several "never heard before" tales were also revealed drawing some big laughs. In the end, the underlying theme of the conversation and the weekend focused on the special friendships developed playing Athena Softball.