After several years had passed, Beth (Wendlinger) Young and younger sister Amanda (Wendlinger) Suarez admit they thought their high school softball careers at Hanover Central were but a distant memory.
However, being inducted into the National Softball Association's Hall of Fame Saturday at Centennial Park proves their accomplishments during their prep careers are still fresh in plenty of people's minds.
Young, a 2002 Hanover Central grad, was a two-time all-state selection, holds the school record for most strikeouts and played at the University of Indianapolis.
"It's great to be recognized for all of our accomplishments," she said. "We've worked hard since we were 7 years old. To find out that we were being recognized is a great feeling."
Suarez, a 2005 Hanover grad, was also a two-time all-stater.
"I think it was just a surprise since we've all been done for so long," Wendlinger Suarez said. "The really fun part about all this is we found out all three of us (including Lake Central's Brooke (Baker) Runyon) were getting inducted. We can remember the good times we had playing by getting inducted."
Runyon, a 2003 Lake Central grad and former Purdue University pitcher, wasn't expecting to be inducted when she received the news from the NSA.
"I was surprised because I didn't know NSA did anything like this," said Runyon, who was recently named Andrean's head softball coach. "It's good they do that, so I was very surprised."
On the coaching side, Purdue North Central coach Jeff Boardman was recognized for his efforts, including recruiting Northwest Indiana high school players to continue their softball careers. Prior to coaching there, he helped Calumet College develop its program as the coach for two seasons.
"It means a lot," he said. "It's been a lot of years watching young ladies mature and grow. They're great athletes and fun to be around."
Former Munster police chief Bill Sudbury was also inducted posthumously for his work as an umpire. His son, Josh, was present to accept the award.
"He spent his entire life being a public servant," he said. "He was a great role model for everyone. One of his greatest joys was being able to see young ladies develop from 8-and-under to high school and collegiate level players."