Katie Han and Coryn Tirpak still remember their first softball team. They were T-ball teammates in 1999.
“Of course, (we were the only) two people on the entire team that ever made it even to be good at softball,” Tirpak recalls.
But those two were extraordinary, and today they will be teammates for the first time since that 1999 T-ball squad.
McCutcheon’s Han, Twin Lakes’ Tirpak and West Lafayette’s Lauren Connell are three of 21 Indiana All-Stars making up the north roster for today’s North/South softball doubleheader at Cherry Tree in Carmel.
“It’s definitely a huge honor to be a part of something I’ve always dreamed of since I was little,” Connell said. “It’s exciting to have one more last high school softball event.”
It’s especially welcoming for the three area representatives that they won’t have to conjure up a way to beat the other.
Tirpak brought up a 1-0 loss to the Han-led McCutcheon team this past season. Connell has spent her athletic career trying to beat Tirpak, regardless of sport.
“I’ve always played against her growing up, every sport, volleyball, basketball, she’s always been on the other team so it will be fun to finally have her on my side,” Connell said.
All three recent high school graduates will represent their program one final time before moving on to play at the college level: Tirpak at the University of Indianapolis, Han at Liberty and Connell at Michigan.
It will also be a reunion for Connell and Han, who were travel softball teammates last summer with Team Akadema Gold. Han follows her second cousin, 2005 McCutcheon graduate Heather Han, as an Indiana All-Star participant.
“I am really honored (to be selected). I’ve met a lot of the girls from travel ball through the years,” Han said. “I am really excited because I know a lot of the girls. It’s going to be fun and laid back.”
But don’t take that to mean the games won’t be competitive.
“We’re definitely going to try to bring home the win for the north,” Han said.