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Lady Jacks Strike Out Cancer

Sometimes it isn’t about whether or not you win or lose,but who got you to the game.

Thomas “Tucker” Frye always got his kids to their games.

Wednesday afternoon, the North Tonawanda Lady Jacks hosted Kenmore West in their second annual Thomas “Tucker” Frye Memorial Game, named in honor of Tom Frye who succumbed to colon cancer on July 8, 2015. Tom was the father of Lady Jacks varsity coach Danielle Frye.

Ken-West defeated North Tonawanda 16-2 in NFL softball action.

Tom was Danielle’s assistant coach during her first two seasons as the Lady Jacks JV coach. Though he was only around the program for a brief two years Tom’s warming,caring way and positive way made a lasting impact on every one of the girls he worked with.

Coach Tucker was always there for each and everyone of his players including me during countless games on JV,” NT junior Erin Sammarco said during the pregame ceremony.

“He was the glue that kept us all together and whenever we needed a smile he was always crack a joke and make it all better. No matter what. Win or lose coach Tucker would always have a smile on his face. Even when we lost by more than 10 runs.”

Danielle, her brothers Kyle and Eric were on the diamond with their mom Jackie Frye as Sammarco read her speech. Members of the Lady Jacks stood along side the first base line, while the visiting Lady Blue Devils, the team Danielle played for, paid their respects standing on the third base line. Kyle Frye’s wife Kristy and their two boys Noah and Grayson as well as Eric Frye’s son Jacob and Thomas were there. It was Thomas who helped Danielle throw the ceremonial first pitch to NT senior Savannah Haner.

“It’s very heartfelt,” Jackie Frye said of the continued outpouring of love and support they receive from the NT softball family.

Danielle Frye, who is in her first season as varsity head coach at NT, said it was only fitting to make the NT/West game the contest in honor of her dad. When Danielle played for West it was the rivalry with the Jacks that they lived for and looked forward to the most.

Lady Blue Devils coach Matt Chimera remembered “Tuck” Frye as a loving,involved dad who was always ready to help the program in way.

“Danielle played for us and Tom was always around. He was always helping with the booster club,” Matt Chimera said. “He actually, for a couple years after Danielle graduated, He continued to prepare dinners at our chicken dinner fund raisers. He was just always there. He was down in Florida for spring training. He helped with practice there and with practice around here. He was always very positive. He wasn’t a parent where you heard anything negative from or had to worry about him saying something negative. He was always very positive. Always had a smile on his face.”

Money raised from a bake sale and 50/50 will be donated to Roswell Park.

Abby Borkowski (two runs) struck out 11 and scattered five hits to pick up the win.

Jessica Leone was 4-for-4 with two runs while Allie Chimera drew four walks. Grace Ferguson (4-for-5) was a home run shy of hitting for the cycle.

Kaylee Haner was 2-for-3 for the Jacks.

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