Members of the Hilliard Davidson, Darby and Bradley high school softball teams learned the importance of breast cancer awareness April 6 while competing in a four-team tournament along with Marysville.
The event was the brainchild of first-year Davidson coach Katie Speakman, who was an assistant with the Wildcats last season.
"I organized a breast cancer awareness game against Dublin Coffman last year and wanted to do it again this year, but Coffman was unable to do it," she said. "So I asked (Bradley coach Kevin Moody and Darby coach Erin McClincy) if they were interested and they said absolutely, so we think we're going to make this a tradition.
"We raised $500 at our school leading into this (event) and we've got a sponsor selling (drinks) that is giving back half of the proceeds."
Two games in the event were held at Davidson and two were held at Darby. Marysville was added as an opponent so that Bradley and Darby would not have to play each other. The Jaguars and Panthers will meet twice in OCC-Cardinal Division play.
Davidson and Marysville both went 2-0 and Bradley and Darby both went 0-2.
"I think this is a great idea to keep all the Hilliard softball teams in town for one weekend, showcase our talent and raise money for a good cause," Moody said. "It's a fun atmosphere because the Hilliard girls all know one another and we have tremendous facilities in Hilliard."
"The one thing that is kind of unique about our schools is that these are fun rivalries," McClincy said. "It's not a cut-throat or vicious rivalry like some others that exist out there. These girls have played a lot of ball together as teammates or opponents throughout the summers."
In the opening games, Davidson senior pitcher Hannah DePriest threw a one-hitter in a 6-0 win over visiting Darby and Bradley was limited to two hits in a 10-0, five-inning loss to Marysville at Darby.
"This was my first time pitching this year so I was real excited and a bit nervous, but I didn't let it get to me," DePriest said. "The best part was that it was against Darby. That made me stay focused."
Freshman second baseman Logan Cortelletti had the lone hit for Darby.
In the second games, Davidson beat visiting Bradley 6-1 and Darby lost at home to Marysville 15-1.
Wildcats senior pitcher Taylor Moore tossed a two-hitter against the Jaguars. The Panthers had seven hits against Marysville, which scored nine runs in the seventh inning.
"In a tournament like this, you want to come out and play your best," Davidson junior second baseman Ally Doty said. "I know most of the girls on the other Hilliard teams, so it makes those games more fun, more special. You want to play well and you want those friends to play well, but you still want to beat them and prove that you're on the best team."
Bradley junior catcher Abi Groseclose knows what to expect in the rivalries with Davidson and Darby.
"It might not be a heated rivalry, but if you win, you do get to nag the players from the other team about it for a full year," she said.
Entering the week, Davidson was 3-2 overall and Bradley and Darby were 0-3 and 1-3 overall, respectively. Panthers sophomore shortstop Lauren Buelow, however, isn't overly concerned about her team's slow start.
"We're really young and we may have some early setbacks, but I do think we're just starting to pull together as a team," she said.