LANSING | When 2003 T.F. South graduate Ryan Hensley joined the Marines, he hoped for a chance to spend time with fellow Rebel alum Philip Martini. Tragically, Martini was hit by a sniper's bullet in Anbar Province on April 8, 2006, during his second deployment to Iraq.
Monday's nonconference softball game between Crete-Monee and the Rebels paid tribute to T.F. South's fallen alumnus, Lance Cpl. Philip J. Martini.
"We did boot camp together and school of infantry together, then we went to different units," Hensley said. "We were deployed to Iraq at about the same time, just in different places. It was still bad in that area, but that was after they had done the big push through Fallujah."
Hensley was on hand at Monday's game to throw out the first pitch. All proceeds from the game will go to The Heart of a Marine Foundation, which assists veterans with post traumatic stress disorder.
"Their research has benefited all branches of service," Hensley said.
Crete-Monee (14-7) used two runs in the sixth and six runs in the seventh to get a 10-3 win. Sarah Rizzo threw seven strong innings for the Warriors, striking out six and scattering five hits. Rizzo was also 2 for 5 at the plate with two RBIs. Warrior Heather O'Kelly was 3 for 4 with three runs scored and two RBIs.
"I had a couple struggles with pitches, but I learned to work through it," Rizzo said. "I knew my defense had my back. We're confident right now. Confidence is our main thing."
T.F. South (13-12) held a 3-2 lead going into the top of the sixth, but eight runs in the final two innings doomed the home team.
"If there's a story for this game it's errors and walks," T.F. South coach Jamie Arundel said. "Any time you give a team that many errors and walks a game, you're not going to come out a winner."
Arundel said the Rebels took great pride in helping to raise funds in memory of Philip Martini.
"This is something the girls work hard during the week raising money for," Arundel said. "It's nice that it was a cause that directly effects our school."