Anoka faced off against St. Francis on the softball diamond on a rainy May 11, and although the game ended in a 4-2 loss for the Tornadoes, both teams hit it out of the park because, you see, this was a game designated not just as a softball game, but also as an effort to raise awareness and to raise funds for the fight against cancer.
The Strike Out Cancer softball game came about because both the Saints and the Tornadoes have been hit by cancer. Tornado infielder Jordan Novak’s mom Sherri is battling breast cancer while Saints pitcher Deb Evans’ mom Diane is also battling cancer.
While Jordan and Deb are both the children of cancer-fighting moms, they are both children of the softball field, too. The girls go way back on the softball diamond, playing ball together as little girls on the 10U level and currently playing on the same summer elite softball team, the Renegades. Many of their teammates also play for the Renegades.
Not only that, both Jordan and Deb have signed letters of intent to play Division II softball for Northern State University in Aberdeen, S.D.
With so many similarities in the lives of the Saints and the Tornadoes, the girls thought it only made sense to team up in the fight against cancer.
“Our captains (of the softball teams) thought it would be neat to get involved” in the Strike Out Cancer softball game, said Jacki Gale, a St. Francis mom – and cancer survivor – who helped organize the Strike Out Cancer event.
The May 11 Strike Out Cancer softball game is one of several cancer-fighting endeavors Anoka coaches have created as part of their Coaches vs. Cancer efforts.
To raise money for cancer research in the May 11 Strike Out Cancer softball game, Saints and Tornadoes softball players sold pink and black T-shirts and friends and family donated raffle items. All proceeds will be donated for cancer research, reported Gale.
“Although it rained (on Strike Out Cancer game day) we were pleased with the turnout of people that showed support,” Gale said. “(Everyone) seemed to have a fun time for a good cause.”
Sue Austreng is at