IMG_9671 It was throwback day on Saturday at Saint Viator’s varsity softball game, and the team pulled out their Sabers jerseys, from the days of girls’ softball at Sacred Heart of Mary High School.

A pair of alumnae from the class of 1967, who will celebrate their 50th reunion later this year, threw out the first pitch and they spoke to the team before the start of the game. Kathy Mueller Tiernan and Kathy Koren Weir both said they were pleased to see the heritage of their alma mater honored by current students.

“This kind of show of support is vital to keeping us connected,” Tiernan said.

The day drew other alumnae to attend as well as Mrs. Judith Amberg, who taught at both Sacred Heart and Saint Viator, before retiring and helping out with the Alumni Association.

IMG_9678She remembered that it was Mrs. Rosemary Sawin, the former Sacred Heart physical education teacher, who formed the Sabers’ softball team.

“She started with a freshmen team and made it a learning experience,” Mrs. Amberg said. “Girls were not thought of as position players but instead they were encouraged to try playing different positions.”

Head Coach John Scotillo helped inaugurate the throw-back event last year and he fully supported it again this year.

“It’s important that the girls know the tradition behind Sacred Heart,” Coach Scotillo said, “and recognize how tough it was for them to form a team and compete. We’re hoping that through this, the spirit of the Heart continues and remains a legacy to our students.”

Of this year’s current team, two players have mothers who attended Sacred Heart: Jessica Taylor ’18, whose mother, Jennifer Urso Taylor, graduated from Sacred Heart in 1986 and Gretchen Brauer ’20, whose mother, Patty Simmerman Brauer, graduated in 1979.

“I like being able to show off my mom’s school,” said Jessica, one of the team’s pitchers.

Both Tiernan and Weir spoke briefly about what it was like to attend an all-girls’ school back in the 1960s. Both remembered their years there fondly, of the friendships formed — with classmates and the Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary.

IMG_9700Though neither played softball, they remembered that the rules were strict and that there was no talking allowed, even in the locker room.

Urso, who graduated from Sacred Heart one year before it merged with Saint Viator to form a co-educational institution, said she appreciated seeing her school showcased.

“It’s a nice way to remember our history,” Urso said, “and where we came from.”