There is a motto in the local high school softball world to Pray for Tay.
But today and Saturday, fastpitch travel league softball players from three different states will Play for Tay.
The third annual Play for Tay Benefit Tournament, featuring 45 teams from 8-and-under through 18-and-under, will be held starting at 7 a.m. today and run through Sunday at McKnight Park and StarPlex.
The tournament benefits Taylor Filorimo, a Riverdale junior softball player battling a rare cancer — renal cell carcinoma.
“She has her ups and downs,” said Karen Clark, a friend of the family, who is helping with the tournament. “She’s manages things well. She’s making the most of what she’s got. She’s really just trying to live her life.”
Filorimo is scheduled to be at the event, although she likely won’t be at it the entire two days because of her health. Sloan’s Motorocycle & ATV has donated a an off-road vehicle to be used during the weekend by Filorimo as she travels back and forth from the two parks.
The entry fee was $250 per team. There will also be T-shirts being sold and other items. A silent auction including numerous softball items will also be held.
Mark Messick helped organize the event. He coached Filorimo on the Firebirds’ youth softball team before she was diagnosed with the cancer. His daughter Josie was also on that team. The two are now both at Riverdale.
“All the players on that team were pretty tight,” he said. “There are all best of friends. When she got hit with this news, we tried to help out. I came up with the idea of a benefit tournament.
“She likes for the kids to have a good time. She’s always wanted to be part of softball and this is a way to be part of softball again.”
That first tournament featured six teams. It moved up to 26 teams last year with about 15 having to be turned away. They moved the tournament to Murfreesboro from La Vergne this year.
Messick said the Murfreesboro Parks and Recreation Department as well as the Rutherford County School system helped tremendously in helping make this year’s tournament a reality.
He said there are numerous team parents helping run the tournament. Ed and Karen Clark is assisting with volunteers. And Roger Sargent is running the brackets.