By Lorie Stair
The Rusty Warren Memorial Softball Tournament was held on Saturday, August 19, at Williams Field in Rosiclare. The event was held in honor of Deputy Rusty Warren, of the Hardin County Sheriff’s department, who lost his heroic battle with stomach cancer on February 5, 2023. Proceeds for this event will go to the Rusty Warren Memorial Fund, which benefits the Hardin County Shop with a Cop program. Registration was from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m., and the fee was $150 per team. Six teams registered to square off for a chance to play our very own Hardin County Deputies, with the first game beginning at 10:00 a.m.
Umpires were Scott Roberts, Wayne Lane, and Darren Winters. The rules indicated that all members of the Hardin County Deputies team must indeed be Deputies, so it is noted that Sheriff Fricker did swear in all team members as Special Temporary Deputy status, so as to be in compliance with the rules.
Many in our community came out to show their support. Both sets of bleachers were almost to capacity, but that didn’t deter spectators, as many were milling around the vendors who offered a variety of ballpark delights.
Jenny’s Mini’s Mini Doughnuts, was popular, with their be-speckled and drizzled, deep fried delectations. Jenny’s Mini’s is a family owned and operated mobile confectionery run by Jenny, her husband Corey and their four daughters, 14 year old Mya, Chevy, 4, Jolee, 3, and 17 month old Hudson, all dressed up in their donut printed outfits, complete with oven mitts and chef hats. The family donated a portion of all their sales for the day, as well as providing a donation jar for the event. Their donation totaled $1,000.
The Hardin County EMA set up a booth selling cotton candy and snow cones, with 9 different flavors to choose from. The cold sweet treats were a welcome respite from the heat. The EMA booth was manned by Nadine Clark and her fireball crew. Although they were all skilled at making and delivering your desired treat, Nadine was particularly adept at running the cotton candy machine, making it look a lot easier than it was. The booth was under the supervision of the EMA Director, Mitchell Conkle.
At the concession stand, run by Cindy Roberts and Trinity Smock, the crowd could purchase hot dogs, soft drinks, all the traditional baseball game fare we have come to expect and love. The concession stand offered two additional opportunities to support the fund raising efforts. T-Shirts and Koozies, by Sally and Chris McClenahan, with the 2023 event logo were for sale. Many friends and family of Deputy Warren were in attendance, wearing these shirts. A raffle was held for a Marucci baseball bat. Tickets were $5 each or 3/$10. The winner of the Marruci baseball bat was Zachary Oglesby. Pepsi MidAmerica donated all of the sodas for the day.
All teams gave it their best, and gave us an exciting afternoon of athletic excellence. When all the dust had settled, it was “Rally Fries” who rose to the top of the challenging teams. After a hard day, playing in the heat, it was decided to pause the games for a one hour dinner at 6:00 p.m.
The game resumed at 7:00 p.m., with the first pitch thrown by Rusty Warren’s great grandson, Lawson Jennings. The catcher was Lawson’s father, Tyler. The game went on until well after 8:00 p.m. with Rally Fries achieving an overwhelming win over our Hardin County Deputies, with the final score being 98 to 02.
Returning champ, Lance Ditterline won the Home Run Derby, with 5 home runs. It seems our Deputies are so busy protecting the community that they did not have much chance to practice.
After the game, much hijinx ensued, with pranks and good humor. Deputy Justin Rose “arrested” Levi Snyder for too many home runs. Deputy Nathan Thomas was cited for using a height altering device. Umpire, Scott Roberts, was “arrested” for bad calls. The Deputies had Scott Roberts truck towed by Billy Gallamore of Gallamore Towing for failure to pay his “bad call” ticket. Roberts refused to bow to the authority of our fine police force. Our Deputies, feeling obligated to enforce their authority, drove a police car onto the field and attempted to place Umpire Scott Roberts in “custody”. The Rally Fries protested to foul play on the part of our police force. They took matters into their own hands, stormed the field, freed Roberts, “wrangled” Sheriff Fricker down, and handcuffed him to the fence. The Rally Fries then called the Coroner, Andy Atkinson to arrest Sheriff Fricker for stealing the Rally Fries’ baseball bats.
In conclusion, it was a day filled with fun, food, friend, family and a community coming together to support each other. All total, the event raised $5338.21.
See many more photos of the great day on the Hardin County Sheriffs Shop with a Cop Program facebook page https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?vanity=100066583239264&set=a.652778383618264
Published in the August 24, 2023 Hardin County Independent.
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