Amanda Mainguy | Staff Photographer
Lauren McElree stepped up to the plate and took a long look down the third-base line. As she stared the pitcher down, concentrating on the ball, her teammates clapped and cheered.
Silence took the field as the softball rose in a slow arc.
McElree wound up, shifted her weight and smacked the ball with a colossal swing, launching it deep to left field.
“Sorry, Mom!” she said to the left fielder, rounding second and heading for home and an inside-the-park home run.
On Sunday, Chautauquan moms and daughters participated in some friendly competition at Sharpe Field during the third annual mother-daughter softball game.
“We had a fantastic turnout,” said Cesca Koron, who organized the day’s events with fellow Belle Mary Pat McFarland. “There are members of all the teams from the women’s league and even some moms and daughters who haven’t played in the league before.”
Even Mark Altschuler, commissioner for the women’s league, played a role in the event by covering third base for the moms.
The mothers’ team, made up mostly of players from the Moms and the Belles, came out swinging in the first inning. After leaving runners stranded around the horn, though, the mothers lost their competitive edge, giving the daughters the green light.
In the first three innings, the daughters placed 11 runs on the board thanks to big hits from McElree and Katie Goodell. The daughters dominated on defense as well, preventing the mothers from scoring until the third inning.
Although the moms succumbed to a 13-6 defeat, there were several notable performances in the field. Karen Conover let little by her at shortstop, and McFarland, who ran a half marathon that morning, was a steel trap at first.
The game went relatively smoothly. Two arguing dogs in the stands had to be separated, and a streaking basset hound caused a slight delay when it had to be rounded up in the top of the fourth inning. Otherwise, the third meeting of the mothers and daughters was cordial and lighthearted.
“It’s all in good fun,” Koron said. “It’s a chance for moms and their daughters to bond, and it also goes toward a great cause. It’s just such a fun day.”
The mother-daughter game raised $600 for the Jamestown Chapter of Zonta, an international organization that works for the empowerment of women worldwide.