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Ruby Rutnik Tournament Goes Off Without a Hitch

May 4, 2007 — No rain, no power outages — just softball for a good cause Friday, as the 11th Annual Ruby Rutnik Memorial Softball Tournament got under way in St. John's Winston Wells Ballfield.
"I came to have fun," said 15-year old Eudora Kean student Crystal Fredericks, before the first game of the night got started.
Except for a stray mosquito or two, the field was in good shape. There were no puddles, like those that previously plagued the event in years past. Nor were there any power outages like the one that delayed the start of last year's opening game.
Eudora Kean and the St. Croix All-Stars faced off first,with the All Stars cruising to a 17-2 victory over the Devil Rays. In the second game, St. Croix fell to the Central High Caribs 10-5.
Organizer George Deller said that a team from St. Thomas' Sts. Peter and Paul School will join the mix Saturday, the tournament's final day.
He said that Antilles School, Ruby Rutnik's alma mater, was supposed to play but had to cancel because the team members had committed to taking their SATs on Saturday.
Games Saturday begin at 10 a.m., with the championship game planned for 8 p.m.
Fredericks and teammates Kemesha Brathwaite, 17, and Kayla Anthony, 16, said they were out there to spend time with their friends and because they liked the game.
They also acknowledged that their participation in this extra-curricular activity will look good on their college applications.
When asked why they made the long trip from St. Croix, several All-Stars players said they came to win. "I know we can win," 18-year-old Country Day School student Meghan Monokian said.
She and fellow All-Stars player, Jerissa Lake, also from Country Day School, said she made the trip because she loves softball. "And I hope we win some games," she said.
As the sun started to go down Friday, a crowd began to gather.
Ja'Mae Francis, 17, holding a friend's four-month-old baby, Liandra Dagou, said she and her friends were there to support their school, Eudora Kean.
Shyanne Lopez, 12, came over from St. Croix to support the St. Croix All Stars. "That's our team," she said.
Others without direct connection to the participating teams also came out in support. "It's for a good cause," St. John resident Nina Gross said.
She said she was a good friend of the Rutnik family and knew Ruby well.
The tourney's namesake, Ruby Rutnik, died at age 21 in a car crash while she was a student at American University in Washington, D.C. Her parents, Janet and Andy Rutnik, organized the first annual tournament to coincide with her birthday in the year following her death.
This year's event missed her birthday by about a month.
"I want to thank everybody from the bottom of our hearts that the entire V.I. community keeps her memory alive," Janet Rutnik said.
The money raised at the event funds scholarships.
The Love City Pan Dragons had conch, fish, souse, macaroni and cheese, soda, beer, and hard drinks for sale to raise money for their organization.
Pan Dragon parent Alfredo Alejo said the group needed to fund-raise to pay for things like trolley improvements and the instructor's salary.
Tournament Results May 4-5
Friday – May 4th
Game 1: STX All Stars (14) vs. Eudora Kean (2)
Game 2: Central HS Lady Caribs (10) vs. STX All Stars (6)
Saturday, May 5th
Game 3: STT All Stars (5) vs. Eudora Kean (4)
Game 4: STT All Stars (14) vs. St. Croix All Stars (4)
Game 5: Central HS Lady Caribs (15) vs. Eudora Kean (4)
Game 6: Central HS Lady Caribs (10) vs. STT All Stars (0)
Championship Game
Central HS Lady Caribs (16) vs. STT All Stars (10)
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