Anchor Bay honors teammate, Rosemarie Reilly

Anchor Bay honors teammate, Rosemarie Reilly

By George Pohly
@GPohly on Twitter

Rosemarie Reilly's ability to inspire others has continued after her untimely death.

A former Anchor Bay softball player who was murdered last year, Reilly convinced a Tar teammate to join her at Grand Valley State, and Reilly's memory still drives Jenna Stancavage as her nursing studies wind down.

"Rose and me were so close that she convinced me to go to Grand Valley with her, and when I said I wanted to be a nurse and no one else said I could do it, she told me I could," Stancavage said after Anchor Bay held a ceremony to honor Reilly's memory last Thursday.

"I made it with her pushing me."

Stancavage is scheduled to graduate in December.

"She meant everything to me," Stancavage said.

Reilly was murdered on Nov. 6, 2016, by an ex-boyfriend who had been stalking her, police in Kent County said. She was 21.

The ex-boyfriend killed himself after taking Reilly's life, police said.

"You never get over the loss of a child," Reilly's mother, Pam, said. "Every day is a nightmare that we wake up to."

Reilly's parents, including her father, John, attended the ceremony with Reilly's sister, Jennifer.

They were presented with 12 red roses and a framed No. 12 – that was Rosemarie's number -- Anchor Bay softball jersey.

Former teammates, including Stancavage, spoke about Reilly's character and contributions to the team.

"She was fun to be around," Stancavage said. "She touched everyone."

John and Pam Reilly have attended classes to help them deal with grief.

They've learned a lot about domestic abuse, and they're dedicated to helping others who might be in circumstances similar to theirs.

"We're learning about … how we can help another family never, ever go through what we're going through," Pam Reilly said.

By George Pohly
@GPohly on Twitter

Rosemarie Reilly had a personal protection order against the man who killed her, police said.

"The stalking went on for months," Pam Reilly said.

"Parents should take every warning sign seriously," John Reilly added.

Anchor Bay players wore ribbons to honor Reilly, and they had her uniform number emblazoned on their arms for the ceremony and a game against Richmond that followed.

Reilly, who made the Tar varsity near the end of her freshman year, batted .439 and led Anchor Bay in doubles as a senior.

The right fielder's senior honors included all-league and All-Macomb County notice.

"Rose meant a lot to our softball program," Anchor Bay coach Len Perkins said. "She spent many hours working on her game.

"She was a determined young lady who wanted to make the best of herself, and she was doing that in the nursing program at Grand Valley."

Reilly was part what has been one of Macomb County's better softball programs for more than a decade.

The Tars last week won their 12th district championship in 13 years.

Anchor Bay hosts a Division 1 regional tournament Saturday. Dakota plays Cousino and Lake Shore meets Anchor Bay in semifinal games.