Moms, daughters play for charity

Brian Smith | Staff PhotographerCarly Lehman, 9, of Cleveland, practice hits before the Mother-Daughter Charity Softball Game July 16 at Sharpe Field. The game raised money for Zonta International and the Chautauqua Fund.

Brian Smith | Staff Photographer

Carly Lehman, 9, of Cleveland, practice hits before the Mother-Daughter Charity Softball Game July 16 at Sharpe Field. The game raised money for Zonta International and the Chautauqua Fund.

Mother-daughter relationships can be complicated. One moment is harmonious, the next a psychodramatic contest of wills. Sometimes what they need is an objective observer — an umpire, for example.

On Tuesday night, an umpire was provided. It was the second annual Mother-Daughter Charity Softball Game. Most of this year’s proceeds went toward Zonta International, an organization that promotes women’s issues, while a small portion went to the Chautauqua Fund.

The tradition started last year when many female softball players saw their daughters joining the league. They thought that it would be fun to do a generational contest and donate its proceeds to charity.

Cesca Koron is the woman behind the event. She said that the game is all about having fun and raising money for a good cause — and then she said the moms are definitely going to win.

The drama wasn’t limited to the players. Matt Lehman wasn’t sure who to root for; his wife was on one team, his daughter was on another.

“I just realized that it is mothers versus daughters,” he said. “I’m conflicted.”

He lowered his voice.

“I am pulling for the daughters, I think,” he said. “I could be in trouble. If the moms win, there could be tears shed in my household. Then again, if the daughters win, there could be tears as well. A tie would be the best outcome.”

At the start of the game, it was clear that the moms had their work cut out for them. The daughters packed the outfield. The outcome was never in question.

Mark Altschuler is the local godfather of Chautauqua softball, the league commissioner and a player, too.

“It was all about female bonding,” Altschuler said. “One young girl got a hit, and the moms just let her run to first base.” Interestingly, though, they didn’t let her get to second.

The final score was 8-2, daughters. Mary Pat McFarland, a mom, growls through a thin smile while recounting the game.

“We can’t even call it ‘age before beauty’ because they have it all,” McFarland said. She smiles. “Cesca struck out her own daughter several times.”

The event raised $750, with $100 going to the Chautauqua Fund and the rest to Zonta International.

There is no word on whether any tears were shed in the Lehman house.