The Medford High School girls softball team begins each game with the chant "1-2-3-Krystal" and have been doing so since their game against Somerville on April 17th. Two days earlier Krystal Campbell lost her life in the Marathon Bombings. Krystal was a 2001 graduate of Medford High School, she never met any of the current members of this year's softball team, but when you grow up in Medford, you're family.
"Once we found out Krystal was a Mustang it hit home," said captain Lauren Walsh, "our team wanted to do something to support her memory and her family."
"We had a meeting," said coach Jack Dempsey, "and we decided to wear black arm bands and dedicate the rest of the season to Kyrstal."
The armbands became a staple at practices and games and the team went on a six game winning streak after being winless in their first four games.
"When I look down at my armband every day I think of Krystal," said a proud Samantha Lopilato. "To dedicate the season to her hits home, she did go to our school, lived where we live, we're doing it for her," added Katie Napier.
The girls had tee shirts made in their own theme "MEDFORD STRONG" with Krystal's name on the back. The Red Sox invited them to Fenway Park to meet Krystal's mom, dad and brother and wrap their Medford Strong arms around Krystal's mom Patty as she threw out the first pitch, and if only for a moment. smiled.
"That meant so much to be there with them, to see the look on their faces and be there to support them," said Walsh.
Patty threw a strike to Johnny Gomes as the rest of the Red Sox stood on the top step of the dugout and applauded. It was a priceless moment and the clear definition of Medford Strong. On Monday May 20th the Medford girls beat the four-time defending Greater Boston League Champion Malden 2-1 to bring the league title back to Medford for the first time in 15 years. It was their eighth win in ten games since dedicating their season to Krystal. Wins and losses fade over time but "Medford Strong" will always endure. There is no script for the grieving or healing process but these young ladies have brought honor to themselves and their city by honoring one of their own.