Senior staff writer
The Coaches vs. Cancer softball game between host Lutheran and Beech Grove had a special meaning for both teams.
In pregame ceremonies May 8, Lutheran honored Lisa Campbell, whose cancer is in remission, and Beech Grove posthumously honored Kevin “Papa K” Kestner, who succumbed to esophageal cancer a few months ago. The teams gathered for a group photo before the game.
Campbell, husband Ron, daughters Kaitlyn, a Saints varsity softball player, and Kelsey also posed for pregame photos. Lisa Campbell threw out the ceremonial first pitch. She recently had her left lung removed but must make biweekly visits for therapy for a year.
Beech Grove players honored Papa K with his name emblazoned on the back of their “Strike Out Cancer” shirts. He was the father of Beech Grove assistant softball coach Kacy Kestner.
Lutheran team members wore the name of a family member or a friend who has suffered from cancer.
The Saints exploded for 11 hits and won 8-1 after jumping to a 4-0 lead in the first inning. Kayla Dillinger, Miranda Dunn, Hailey Black and Emily Streib each had two hits.
Speedster Reecie Gilliam scored the lone run for the Hornets in the third by reaching first on a grounder, stealing second and then going home on a failed pick-off attempt at third.
At the same time, Lutheran’s baseball team battled Beech Grove to a 6-4 home field win. BG’s Nic Ancelet led off the game with a homer, and Jalen Romine later drove in the second run with a double. Lutheran then struck for four runs with Matt Holm driving in a pair of teammates.
Carson Thomas struck out nine Hornets and finished the game by striking out the side in the seventh.