As a pitcher and first baseman, Kristi Wright played a pivotal role in leading the Class of 1976 to 12 titles over a 25-year span in the Grove City Alumni Softball Tournament.

As a pitcher and first baseman, Kristi Wright played a pivotal role in leading the Class of 1976 to 12 titles over a 25-year span in the Grove City Alumni Softball Tournament.

Wright died of cancer April 29, but her teammates said she is still a key part of their roster. The 2008 Grove City Alumni Softball Tournament was dedicated to Wright's memory, and last Friday she and her team were among the inaugural inductees into the event's Hall of Fame.

Two days later, the Class of 1976 rallied to defeat the Classes of 1981-82 7-6 in the Ladies Classic final at Fryer Park.

"We did this for Kristi," outfielder June Taylor said. "Kristi has always been a strong part of our team, and without her physically here we were driven more than ever to win the championship."

Every member of the Class of 1976 wore shirts with Wright's first name on the back, and several players on opposing teams had her initials on their shirts.

Wright's mother, 77-year-old Connie Filippi, flew in from Chandler, Ariz., and was presented with the championship trophy afterward. Filippi drank beer from the trophy in honor of her daughter, who did the same thing after being named the tournament's MVP in 1990 and 2002.

Wright's daughters, Kenzi and Kori Selent, were presented with the game ball, which was signed by every member of the team.

"We've had so many people tell us how much they loved my mom, and it's very touching to know that more than 90 teams care enough about her to dedicate this tournament to her," Kori said. "When I was little, I didn't realize how many people she's touched. She loved this tournament and she loved all of the people here, and they adored her, too."

Tammi Clucus went 10-for-10 to lead '76 to the title. She was named her team's Most Valuable Player. In the final, Clucus went 3-for-3 with two RBI and two runs, Brenda Severs went 2-for-4 with two RBI and Gayle Sowers pitched all seven innings.

"We felt like we had to win this for Kristi," Clucus said. "We definitely felt her presence. After we left too many runners on base in the fifth or sixth inning, there was a little wind tornado on the field and a canopy lifted up and blew into the scoreboard. It was almost like she was there trying to get us going."

WOMEN'S OPEN -- From the outset, Molly Frasher and her Class of 1987 teammates wanted to beat the Class of 1986.

They did so not once but twice last Sunday. After beating the Classes of 1985-86 12-7 in a preliminary, the Classes of 1987-88 won again 20-17 in the Women's Open final.

The Class of 1986 won 10 consecutive women's open titles from 1993-2002 and then won the championship the last two years after joining with the Class of 1985. The Classes of 1987-88 had won the Ladies Classic title in 2004 and never placed in the top four of the open division.

"We're old women now, so this is great," Frasher said. "It's always been such a head game with (the Classes of 1985-86). They're always in our kitchen, so it was great to finally beat them."

Frasher hit a grand slam in the first inning to give her team a 9-0 lead and Trish Ellis hit a grand slam in the third for a 16-6 lead.

The Classes of 1985-86 scored seven runs in the sixth to take a 17-16 lead. Dortha Ford drove in two with a triple to put her team in front. The Classes of 1987-88 had six consecutive hits to open the top of the seventh. Kim Still-Hartman drove in two with a double.

Amy Wheeler was named the team's MVP.

Members of the Class of 1976 softball team celebrate as Connie Filippi, mother of Kristi Wright, takes a victory sip from the championship cup last Sunday after defeating the Classes of 1981-82 in the Ladies Classic final. The team played in honor of Wright, a member of the squad in past tournaments who died in April.