CHICAGO, Illinois — The last time we saw softball pitcher Danielle O’Toole get emotional, it was at Hillenbrand Stadium after falling just short of the 2018 Women’s College World Series.
However, on Sunday, O’Toole was set to begin pitching in an Athletes Unlimited professional game when a familiar face appeared on the video scoreboard in Chicago.
"It’s been fantastic to watch you on TV, and for giving me a reason to yell at the umpires," her Mom, Dianna, said during pregame warmups.
Dianna O'Toole is also a former college softball pitcher, and was the first All-American for UCSD. She knew it was a special day for her daughter.
"I love your dedication, and I appreciate you giving up your first year wedding anniversary to be out there."
"I want to make sure I tell you how much I miss you," her voice echoed.
That made the player nicknamed "Tooley" become teary, noticeably wiping her eyes on the mound.
Her pitching performance on that day, which included four runs allowed, allowed wasn’t memorable. But, the message from her mom will be.
"I’ll be cheering for you. Happy Anniversary. I love you."