Before American Heritage took the field Friday night for its softball game against St. Thomas Aquinas, it was clear the Patriots were struggling to contain their emotions.
Just before the first pitch, there was a moment of silence observed for Andrea Lucas, an American Heritage senior who passed away last month from complications of
During Friday's game--a fundraiser for the
"Tonight was amazing because she was a really good friend of mine and we really miss her," said Patriots pitcher Jenna Goodrich, who struck out five St. Thomas Aquinas hitters and and held the Raiders to five hits. "It was great to have another school support us that much because we played for her tonight and she knows that we played for her. She's watching us."
It worked. American Heritage earned a 4-0 victory over a solid St. Thomas team and bounced back from a Thursday loss to Cypress Bay.
But more than that, Patriots coach Marty Cooper said Friday was an opportunity for his players--many of whom knew Lucas--to continue grieving her loss and honoring her memory...all while helping others who suffer from cystic fibrosis.
St. Thomas' players also sported purple in Lucas' honor and after the post-game handshake, the two teams posed for a portrait that will be sent to Lucas' family.