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Friends battle on the softball diamond

By Luke Meyer

sports@postbulletin.com

ROCHESTER — Of the 12 teams playing in the 14-and-under softball tournament this weekend at McQuillan Field, seven of those teams were from Rochester.

With the way school zones are drawn up, it was not uncommon Saturday to see battle lines intertwined. Neighbors cheer for each other’s daughters, even when they are playing against each other.

Friends from two different teams were eating lunch on a picnic table. A car load of girls piled out in the parking lot, wearing two different colored Rochester uniforms.

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The friend-or-foe situation was on display in an afternoon game, pitting the Rochester Raiders versus the Rochester Diamonds.

Most of the Raiders squad is comprised of John Marshall students. The Diamonds is predominantly made up of students from Century High School.

Now see the game through the eyes of Bryce Prow: Prow, who was an assistant coach for the Rochester Stingers and two of his daughters in the morning, was now cheering on another daughter, Alyssa, the catcher for the Diamonds in the afternoon.

When the Raiders’ Allison Passe was ruled out after leaving a base too early on an attempted tag-up, Prow was there to offer encouragement from the backstop.

"That’s OK Allison," said Prow. "You’ll be all right."

Prow is Allison’s neighbor. You are not likely to see a gesture like this from an opposing parent at other sporting events, especially as the girls grow older.

"The Passe’s live about 500 feet from us," said Prow. "But with the way the school lines are drawn up, our girls will go to different high schools."

Prow, who has coached area softball in the past, saw a lot of familiar faces on other teams in the tournament. "It’s interesting, because some of these girls out here now have been on other teams I’ve coached in the past."

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As the Diamonds took a 3-2 lead into the second inning, you could tell this game was different. Base runners joked with the opponent. Players cheered each other on from the dugouts.

At these Star of the North Games, you get the feeling that friends, family, and fun are sometimes more important than the outcome on the field.

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