Inaugural Perry Alumni Softball game a big hit

The turnout for the 2016 Jayette Alumni Softball Game was a good one. Organizers are hoping even more players will be at Paul Graves Diamond at Pattee Park Sunday at 12:45 p.m. Players from all graduating classes are encouraged to join in the fun.

By¬†any measurement Sunday’s inaugural Perry Alumni Softball game was a success.

Held at Paul and Mary Ann Graves Diamond in Pattee Park, the longtime home of the Perry varsity softball team is in need of a new scoreboard, and helping to raise funds for that purpose was a driving force behind the inaugural get-together.

A total of $1030.30 was raised Sunday from entry fees, concession sales and donations. Those wishing to donate for the scoreboard project may send their contributions to PGSA, P.O. Box 66, Perry, IA 50220 and note the gift is “for scoreboard.”

Once a Jayette, always a Jayette was a theme heard repeatedly at the venue Sunday, and with former Perry players on the diamond from graduating classes ranging from 1974 to 2015, it is clear a love of softball was instilled in the youth of those breaking out their old gloves.

The team coached by Jason Olejniczak claimed a 16-8 win over Mike Jorgenson’s squad. Several outstanding defensive plays were made, with Cherie Menz Welch (Class of 2004) providing the offensive highlight with a cannonading blast over the fence in left center.

Among the many humorous comments overheard from the players were “Since when was it so far to first base?” and “When did the outfield get this big?” as well as “I am sore now, but I bet I ache tomorrow.”

Current Jayettes and PGSA players were invited to take the field for the seventh inning, with greatest juxtaposition at shortstop, which was briefly shared by current Perry varsity starter Jo Diw (Class of 2018) and Cheri Tice Scheib (’74).

Those playing, and their graduating class, included Scheib and Welch along with Joelle Conklin Miner (’74), Lila Davis Robb (’74), Lori Rausch Seeley (’76), Karen McCarty Wright (’76), Shannon McDevitt Schuhardt (’76), Angela Hollar Mortoza (’87), Holly Vancil Petersen (’88), Kerri Killmer Thomas (’92), Katherine Vancil (’93), Andrea Menz Tunink (’97), Sarah Kautzky Iben (’98), Lisa Lundstrom Murphy (’98), Kelli Scheib Petersen (2003), Krystal Kanealy Bell (’03), Breck Heldt Menz (’04), Katie Walsh (’12), Lindsey Kunch (’14), Julie Diw (’14) and Katelyn Whelchel (’15).

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  1. Thank you, Jeff! So much fun, so much trash talk, making for even more fun! A blast that we think should happen again & there were some outstanding plays & hits made by women who really haven’t played in several years! We need to get this scoreboard so I will share your story & maybe, just maybe someone would like to give generously to this important cause in Perry, Ia. Thanks again for all you do!

  2. My pleasure, Cheri. I neglected to mention in the story, but will do so here: There was a nice turnout of fans watching the game! And how unusual it was for me to be at a “Perry” softball game and hear cheers for “mom” and “grandma” instead of for the teenage girls! I am an unabashed fan of Graves Diamond and hope to see a new scoreboard there soon.

  3. Funny that you should mention “Mom and Grandma” because when our little Jimmer was hollering, “Hi, Grandma!” I thought how strange that was. The last time I played on that diamond I was not called “Mom” or “Grandma.” What a great day and many, many fans– loved it!


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