Hampshire’s baseball team earned a 2-0 victory on the field Saturday against Woodstock North, but even more important was what the Whip-Purs did off the field.
The players read a story about Bella Yakos, a 7-year-old girl in Algonquin battling Stage 4 neuroblastoma. The story appeared in the Northwest Herald a few days before Hampshire and Woodstock North played their second “Strike Out Cancer Game.”
In that game, the teams use 20 wood bats donated by Hoosier Bat Co. painted different colors for different kinds of cancer. The teams got together for their “bat draft” at Buffalo Wild Wings on Friday in Crystal Lake, and Hampshire chose the gold bat for Bella.
Senior Nick Mohlman took charge with the team and told coach John Sarna they planned to buy the bat for Bella. There are online auctions for each bat, with the money going to benefit the Jason Motte Foundation, set up by the Cubs pitcher.
Hampshire leadoff man Noah Schrader picked the bat first in the draft and got a double with it in Saturday’s game.
But it gets better.
Caitlin Motte, Jason’s wife, heard about what was going on and came to the game Saturday. She took pictures with the team and took the gold bat to her husband, who was going to have Cubs players sign it before giving it to Bella.
Sarna said Mohlman has been in contact with Nick Yakos, Bella’s father, about getting the bat to the family. Sarna thinks it probably will be given to the family during a game at the Class 3A Hampshire Regional Tournament next week.
This Week’s Top Game
Class 1A Elgin Academy Regional
4:30 p.m. Wednesday, Elgin National Field
No. 1 Alden-Hebron vs. winner of No. 4 Hiawatha vs. No. 5 Harvest Christian, 4:30 p.m.