May 20, 2022 Local Stories in and Around St. Joseph, Illinois

Softball bonds Witruk family

For the Witruk family of St. Joseph softball is a family affair.


Every member of the household has played or coached the game throughout the last few years.


Father Myron is a coach.


Mother Rae was a recreational player when she was younger.


Daughters Tori and Zoey currently play softball.


Both girls played rec ball as well as travel ball during their adolescent years.


Tori, who graduated in 2017, was a standout pitcher at St. Joseph-Ogden High School where Zoey, a junior, currently plays.


Their softball journey has been far from smooth, as both girls will admit.
Their dad has spent countless hours over the many years coaching his daughters, most of those coming with the Central Illinois Diamonds, a well-known travel softball organization that play throughout the Midwest during the summer months.


“I’m not going to say that it’s been easy playing for my dad, but we get to learn fundamentals from him, and at the same time, get to be around him, which not everyone gets a chance to experience,” said Tori, currently a member of the Parkland softball team.


Zoey is recovering from a back injury which sidelined her this summer.
The downtime that the family experienced this past summer was a welcome relief to Myron.


“Ever since the girls were little, they have played softball during the summer months, but with Tori not playing and Zoey’s injury sidelining her, I didn’t quite know what to do with all of my free time,” Myron said.


Myron said the family was able to take a nice, family vacation without thinking about softball.


“That was strange, but a welcome relief as well,” he said.


Zoey said sitting out due to an injury was hard but Tori was able to help her through the adversity and many emotions that come with being injured.


“It definitely helped,” Zoey said. “I just want to come back stronger and get this behind me, but the time away from the game has been rough.”


Last week Tori experienced a first in her softball career. She pitched a no-hitter.


After coming off an ACL injury sustained her junior year of high school, this was a highlight of her playing career.


“I don’t believe I’ve ever done that (pitch a no-hitter) before,” Tori said. “Maybe I did in travel softball, but at this level, that’s something I’ve never done,” Tori said.

She led the Cobra’s to an 8-0 win in five innings against the University of Illinois Club Team.


Tori said that her competitive softball career is over after her second year at Parkland, while Zoey plans on following her sister’s footsteps and playing at the next level, although she has not decided where yet.

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