CRETE | Before the game, Crete-Monee and Bloom Township exchanged wrist bands.
Each player, coach and umpire wore an orange and purple wristband in honor of 13-year-old Kiersten Riegler. The daughter of Crete-Monee principal Brian Riegler died last week from leukemia. Orange represented leukemia and purple was Kiersten's favorite color.
There was an orange ribbon painted on the grass behind home plate and the coaches' boxes were outlined in orange. The Warriors dedicated the game to the Riegler family and came away with a 7-3 Southland Athletic Conference win against the Blazing Trojans on Tuesday afternoon.
Crete's John McLaughlin had three hits, including a big double in a two-run sixth. He said it was an emotional day.
"We wanted to show support for Mr. Riegler and his family, honor her," McLaughlin said. "She was 13 and that is much too young (to die). It hit home a little. I have a 14-year-old sister, Colleen, who is a freshman at Lincoln-Way Central. It is really hard to think about it, but that could have been any of us or a family member."
Bloom (10-10, 2-5) wanted to be a part of the pregame memorial, coach Job Gunderson said.
"We felt it was important for us to do this," Gunderson said. "We feel really bad and wanted to show support for the (Riegler) family."
Crete (13-9, 6-1) scored three times in the second thanks to two Bloom errors. Mike Wojnatowski tripled in Jonathan Fasel for the first run.
The Blazing Trojans got one back in the fourth and tied it with two runs in the fifth. Johnny Bamuelos hit a two-run double. On the day, he had three hits, but also had three errors.
Crete scored twice in each of the fifth and sixth innings.
Wojnatowski came in relief of Zack Silerzio and threw two perfect innings, striking out four and being a part of all six outs.
"That's what I do is close games," Wojnatowski said. "I went in and got the outs."