While the members of the Hangovers didn’t grow-up exclusively playing 16 – inch softball (they played t-ball for two years starting when they were six), they did play it for twenty- six plus years. They started at Lawler Park in the 70’s in the Pigtail, Ponytail and then Junior Miss leagues. From there they went on to coach in the Ponytail and Junior Miss leagues. That is when Melissa Wojciechowski and Colleen Elliott decided to start their own women’s 16-inch softball team.
Wojciechowski and Elliott found some players from the neighborhood and also recruited some of the moms from the teams that they were coaching. They played on Monday nights at Lawler Park and won that league the first four years they played.
They then decided to venture out and started playing in more competitive leagues at McKinley Park and in Bridgeview. They played three nights a week and found success. They took first place at Bridgeview and second place at McKinley. Unfortunately, the leagues folded, so they had to move to other parks. They played at Normandy Park (‘97-‘04), Commissioners Park (‘05-‘06), New Castle Park in Burbank (‘07-‘09), Durkin Park (‘10-‘11), Rainey Park (‘12-‘14) and Martin Park in Hickory Hills, where they still play today. Over these many years of playing, they won numerous leagues and championships.
Throughout these years, they played in as many tournaments as they could. They played in the Grant Park tournament, USSSA tournaments, the Best of Western, the Bucks for Burn, the Y-Me Breast Cancer, the St Jude Tournament, and the A & E tournament. They finished in the top five in each of these tournaments. They won Y-Me tournament eight times, the Bucks for Burn seven times, and the Best of Western six times. By playing against such great competitors in these tournaments, the Hangovers improved their play for league competition.
Over these past twenty-six years, the women that played on the Hangovers have proven themselves to be some of the most amazing women that anyone could ever know. Time will only tell how long they will continue to play, but they do know that the friendships they have formed will last a lifetime. Each of these women that have played in the past, and that are still playing today are amazing athletes who love this crazy game of 16-inch softball!.
A special thanks to each of these ladies:Linda Annolino, Pam Abney, Christine Baldwin, Tricia Benedetto, Lupe Buttliere, Gina Corso, Maria (Billie) Campos, Colleen Cassiani, Kelly Cusick, Susie Cusick, Mary Deppert, Erin Dzieka, Colleen Elliott, * Rosie Geraci, Becky Honan, Jamie Honan, Vicki Hart, Lisa Hovel, * Betty Kollar, Becky Koenig, Beth Ann (Boo) Kaczorowski, Donna LoDuca
Diane (Dee Dee), LaPorte. Lisa Lorenz, Amy Marek, Christine Miernicki, Sarah McCarthy, Terry O’Boyle, Pattie Prokaski, Nikki Pietras, Mary Radek, Mary Reagan, * Elvira (Babe) Sanfilippo, , Melissa Sizemore, Wendy Skrocki, Dawn Sadorf, Paige Stryczdk, Wendy Taylor, Jennifer Tuider, Melissa Wojciechowski, Lillian Warrington, Teresa White
* Indicates women that have been inducted into the Hall of Fame.