She was known as one of the best softball pitchers in the state. This weekend, a softball tournament is being held at Wayzata and Minnetonka high schools to remember 16-year-old Lexi Kretsch, who was tragically killed in a car accident.
"I think she'd be really happy, and I think she's looking down, and she's really happy to see us continuing to play for her," said former teammate and best friend Emily Eaton. "We all miss her."
It's been almost two years since Lexi was killed in a car accident near Mankato. But it seems like it happened yesterday to her family and friends.
"That pain never goes away," said Lexi's mother, Jennifer Kretsch.
Lexi played softball for the Minnesota Vortex and Waconia High School. She was being recruited by Division I schools when she was just a sophomore. But it was her work off the field that made her stand out.
"She was always in competition with herself to be a better person, not just a better softball player," explained Kretsch.
On Saturday a special ceremony will be held to honor Lexi. It's expected to be emotional. The man who received her donated liver will throw out the first pitch. Shelby Kostelac is alive because of the precious gift Lexi gave.
"When I came out of surgery, I seen it all over the news, and I knew right away," Kostelac said.
"I'm so glad that we made the choice to have Lexi save somebody else and she couldn't have saved a better man, better family," said Kretsch.
Although her only child is gone, Jennifer now has a newfound family.
"Forever, forever, when I'm 75 I'll still come when she calls," said Shelby.
Lexi will never step on the mound again, but she will forever be remembered by the family and friends she left behind.
"Makes me feel good that they remember what really matters in life, being happy, smiling,
and just being the best person you can be."
The special ceremony gets underway Saturday at 1 p.m. at the Wayzata High School softball fields.
Sonya Goins, email@example.com
June 16, 2017