Sports

Krause: Masucci family hopes softball tournament can bring a little healing

Two years is not enough time. And to be honest, no amount of time will ever be enough.

So, the Masucci family will be there next weekend when Vanessa Masucci MacCormack’s family and friends put on the second annual softball tournament July 19-20 at Breed Middle School’s Babe Ruth complex in her honor. But her father, Vinnie, is quite honest about whether time is a healing factor.

“They say time heals,” he said. “But it’s been tough. In a lot of ways,it’s harder.”

Vanessa Masucci MacCormack seemed to have it all. A husband, a house in Revere, a baby daughter, and a career that fit her — an elementary school teacher at Lynn’s Connery School. She loved it, and the kids she taught loved her.

But on Sept. 23, 2017, something went horribly wrong. Her husband, Andrew, found her body inside their home. From all appearances, she had been beaten to death. Police later charged her husband, Andrew MacCormack, with murder in connection with her death (the trial is slated to start in October).

The news devastated anyone who had come in contact with her, even if only peripherally. As someone who covered St. Mary’s softball extensively, I became friendly with Vinnie and Karen Masucci. I was heartbroken for them, and still am. 

Joe Masucci, Vanessa’s brother, was a coach for the Spartan football team. I’d known him since he was a little kid, tagging along with his parents. Her sister, Angela, was an assistant volleyball coach at Lynn English at the time, and she looked so much like Vanessa that I once confused the two.

Vanessa had a daughter, Adrianna, who was only 13 months old when her mother was killed. 

The Masuccis, along with Vanessa’s friends and former teammates, ran their inaugural softball tournament last year, and it was a success. The event, which is being held to fund a scholarship in Vanessa’s honor, raised $9,000 — enough money to award a scholarship to Lynn Tech student Katryn Barr.  

Planning this event is unbearably hard for those tasked doing it. 

“This is a way of bringing all the people she loved — and all the people who loved her — together,” said Classical softball coach Erica Richard, who was Masucci’s teammate and friend at St. Mary’s. “She was more than a teammate. She was a friend.

“She was an easy person to get to know,” Richard said.

But there was another side to Vanessa Masucci too. 

“She was competitive,” Richard said. “There was the sweet Vanessa, and there was the dialed-in Vanessa. And when she was on the softball field, she wanted to win.”

The atmosphere next weekend won’t be quite as competitive. It’ll be a day for people who knew her, and loved her, or who came into any kind of contact with her at all, to take part in an activity Vanessa truly loved. Last year, for example, some of the Revere detectives who worked on her case took part. 

It isn’t easy to visualize how any of this is, or ever could be, fun for anybody who was directly connected with Vanessa Masucci. But her family and friends are going to do their best.

“All of them have been unbelievable,” Vinnie Masucci said. “You hear a lot of stuff about how many bad people there are in this world. But you know what? There are way more good people than bad. That’s one thing we’ve come to know for sure.”

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The tournament begins at 5:30 p.m. Friday July 19 and games will continue through Saturday. A home run derby will be included.

There will be face painters, a bouncy house, and princess visit for children on Saturday. 

Ten teams have signed up, and the tournament will have a double-elimination format. There will be free slush and pizza Friday, and Wahlburgers Saturday.

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