Ryan Costello, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle
POND CREEK, Okla. —
Cancer bedamned, Tina Lorenz was going to be at her daughter’s signing ceremony.
More or less, anyway.
Pond Creek-Hunter senior and softball shortstop Haylee Lorenz signed a letter of intent to play for Butler Community College (Kan.) during a small ceremony last week at her high school’s boardroom, but perhaps the most important part - save for the letter and its signee - almost didn’t make it.
Haylee’s mother, Tina, a mainstay at her daughter’s softball games, was hospitalized during the ceremony and likely will remain there for 4-6 weeks receiving chemotherapy and treatment for acute leukemia.
But while Tina, now in her third bout with the disease, couldn’t be physically present at the culmination of all those high school softball games she went to, she was there digitally, watching her daughter sign to become a Grizzly through her Facetime application.
“She asked to leave the hospital, and they wouldn’t let her,” Haylee Lorenz said. “She was pretty down, but I’m glad she got to watch it, at least. She’s really excited, so it was important.”
Haylee was 13 years old the last time her mother fought off leukemia, an age that her own perceived invincibility apparently was extended to her mother. It didn’t seem real back then, she said. Now at 17, the scare is much more so, despite what Haylee said was a positive prognosis given to her mother.
So sharing another softball win was a nice vacation from fretting over bad news.
“I always asked, ‘Why her?’ because she’s been through so much,” Haylee Lorenz said. “This time, I said we’re gonna fight it, and I tell her to stay strong every day … She’s always at every game of mine. She’s my No. 1 fan.”
Haylee Lorenz will join an Butler softball team coming off its best season in program history, reaching the semifinals of the National Junior College Athletic Association’s national tournament for the first time. The Grizzlies’ 54-4 finish set the team record for wins, and its final-four run was the deepest for a program that previously hadn’t won more than one national tournament game in a given season. Lorenz verbally committed last fall to Butler, located in El Dorado, Kan.
“All their girls go to [Division 1],” said Lorenz, who plans to study to become a sports physician.
A benefit lunch is scheduled for Tina Lorenz at noon on Sunday, Feb. 2, at the United Methodist Church Family Life Center at 221 S. Second St. in Pond Creek. The Baked potato lunch will be followed by a pie auction, and shirts supporting Tina’s recovery are available from Katy Oakleaf at 580-747-6320.