Heather Kerrins Torres played in her first Lynn Classical alumni softball game Sunday at Grace Rogato Field.
It was ten years ago during the 2002 softball season that the then-Classical senior became the first player to hit a home run over the fence at the field.
“I remember it well,” said Kerrins Torres. “I didn’t know that it was gone. I thought I just hit it to the outfield so I was running the bases. I came around second and I looked at coach Warren and he was clapping and telling me to slow down. I saw everyone cheering and that’s when I realized that I must have hit a home run. I wish I knew I had hit a home run right away so I could have enjoyed that moment.”
Kerrins Torres said she knew that no one had cleared the fence prior to her home run.
“It wasn’t a goal of mine to hit one out,” said Kerrins Torres, who nevertheless relishes her place in LCHS softball history. “People still talk about it now – of course, I do, too. After that, I tried to hit more home runs over the fence, but I never did.”
She credits her father, Wayne Kerrins, and Classical coach Chris Warren, for developing her softball talents.
“My dad and coach Warren are both great coaches,” said Kerrins Torres. “They practiced us hard, taught us the basics of the game, how to read situations and take advantage of mistakes that other teams make, and to enjoy and respect the game at all times.”
Warren said Kerrins Torres was a solid all-around player for the Rams who hit for power and average.
“Heather’s home run was the first one hit out of the park during my coaching career,” said Warren. “It was shot to right field. Heather always had a great swing. She hit for high average and was an NEC All-Star and a great captain and first baseman – an all-around outstanding player.”
Wayne Kerrins said he was situated beyond the left field fence alongside Mark Abernathy when his daughter made softball history. Kerrins and Abernathy had served as coaches of the 2000 Lynn Babe Ruth 16-under team that advanced to the Babe Ruth World Series in Millville, N.J.
“She hit the home run against Danvers and it went over the right field fence,” recalled Kerrins, who coached his daughter in the Lynn Babe Ruth softball program. “The ball hit the outfield fence of [adjacent] Edmonds Field. I believe Grace Rogato Field was ten years old at the time. I was as proud of my daughter then as I am now.”
Following that season, home plate was moved up approximately eight feet to its current spot.
“The reason we did that was that the plate was so far back that it wasn’t possible to steal home on a passed ball,” said Kerrins.
He said his daughter didn’t start playing softball until she was 13 years old.
“I was president of Babe Ruth Girls Softball and we had a registration clinic and Colleen Parker [Newbury] asked Heather if she wanted to play softball and she said, ‘yes I’ll play.’’’
Since Kerrins Torres prodigious first-ever blast, other Classical players have also hit fence-clearing home runs. Warren said the prestigious list also includes Fallon Gaudet, Hannan Byrne, Chelsey Bartlett, and Adriana Raymond.
Kerrins Torres went on to play one season of college softball at the University of Tampa. She underwent surgery on her left shoulder and was redshirted for her sophomore year. She transferred to Salem State University but chose not to continue her softball career.
“I still have three years of eligibility left and I think about playing again from time to time,” said Kerrins Torres, who was a JV coach on Warren’s staff in 2005 and 2006.
Kerrins Torres currently owns and operates a children’s day care center in Lynn, Heather’s Day Care. She and her husband, Manny, a former Classical and Fitchburg State College baseball captain and Lynn Police officer, have a son, Manny.