The hot July sun beat down on players from the seven teams signed up for Saturday of softball and friendly competition in remembrance of Sherry Arnold and Janae Moore.
Sherry and Janae’s Softball Tournament was held Saturday at the South Meadow Softball Complex. An all-ages dance with music from Stone Yellow followed.
No scores were officially kept, and no team dominated the bracket for the day. Forty-five minute games and eight time slots across two fields ensured a full day of sportsmanship, competition and reflection for friends and family who have for years since their deaths been gathering to celebrate Sherry and Janae and their love of the game, said tournament organizer Tammy Pederson.
It was the eighth year for the slow pitch tournament, previously known simply as “Sherry’s Tournament.”
Pederson first took the initiative to start the tournament to honor her friend Sherry, who was murdered in 2012.
“She and I used to coach summer softball together, so I just wanted to do something to get everybody together, and just remind everyone to be safe,” she said.
It felt only right to include Janae, who was killed in an automotive accident in 2013, Pederson said.
“It means a lot that everyone comes together and remembers why we’re all here.”
The $100 registration fees paid by each team along with additional sponsorships and donations fund improvements to Sidney’s softball facilities, as well as other various causes throughout the community.
The tournament, Pederson explained, is designed to help any individual or group in need, in honor of Sherry and Janae. It’s a way to pay back the outpouring of support from the community that mourned the deaths of two women who were so ingrained in Sidney’s athletic programs.
“The community did so much when Sherry went missing,” she said. “It gives me goosebumps to think about it. The town just stopped and everyone went to work.”