If they needed a beautician, she often had a hairbrush or a comb.

If they needed a delivery girl, she would bring a basket of muffins, sandwiches or perhaps granola bars.

And if they needed a psychologist, she could assess, diagnose and treat them if they happened to experience emotional distress and mental illness.

If you’re a member of the Tallmadge softball team, there was one person you sought if you desperately needed a little TLC.

Especially if you may have felt a bit "Unpretty."

When it comes to a certain stylish meal provider, Kennedy Rorar is "no scrub."

Instead, much like the female hip-hop trio that rose to stardom in the 1990s, the gifted senior catcher proved to be quite the expert when it came to this very important topic.

"Girl Talk."

"Kennedy is our mother hen and caretaker for the girls," said Brittany Lightel, who has been the Blue Devils head softball coach since 2019.

This well-respected bird hasn’t been much of a pick-me-up lately.

That’s because her sacred henhouse was recently invaded by something far more sly than a hungry fox.

Due to a deadly respiratory tract infection known as the coronavirus, the Ohio High School Athletic Association decided to cancel the entire spring season.

Therefore, Rorar and her numerous adopted daughters will not play a single inning in 2020.

And how has this renowned problem-solver tried to achieve a revolutionary solution?

Sadly, she hasn’t found one yet. Instead, a certain, disturbing three-letter word refuses to vanish from her brain.

To be quite honest, this interrogative term sounds considerably more excruciating than someone’s fingernails scratching a chalkboard.

It simply won’t stop under any circumstances either. It just keeps ringing in her head.

Over and over again.

"Why?" an incredulous Rorar asked. "Why does this have to happen right now? Why does this have to come during our senior season? No words can sum up how heartbroken I am."

Fortunately, Rorar’s heart is still beating. And despite being known as the team’s fixer, her recently splintered ticker has received quite a boost from some respected psychologists in their own right.

Ironically enough, many of those reassuring physicians were once considered Rorar’s vulnerable patients.

This temporary healing process has been extremely effective for the dejected teenager. At the same time, though, even the unflappable backstop can’t stop herself from succumbing to her unbearable distress.

Her opportunity to put the exclamation point on a fabulous career has now become the dreaded equivalent of chasing "Waterfalls."


"I’ve been able to cope by talking to my teammates almost every day and talking about seeing each other soon," Rorar said. "I’ve cried a lot, but Brit has been the greatest coach. She has reassured us that it will be okay."

It will be when she gets back on the diamond, that’s for sure.

If history continues to prove itself like it has done so many times, this virus will subside sometime in the future.


When life does return to normal, Rorar will gleefully grab her glove, bat and possibly her catcher’s equipment again.

That’s because she recently decided to continue her academic and softball careers at Tiffin University, which plays in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.

Rorar plans to study forensic science to become a coroner or a criminal investigator. She also hopes to become a pre-med student after she gets her degree.

For Rorar, the choice was easy. She chose the 132-year-old Division II private university over seven other schools for the same reasons why her teammates leaned on her shoulders many times during her career.

It’s dependable, reliable and it provides all the tender loving care she’ll ever need.

And, of course, her coaches weren’t "too proud to beg" for her services.

"I chose Tiffin because it felt like home," Rorar said. "(Head) Coach (Jeff) Nickerson and Coach (Brian) Coleman showed interest in me the longest and consistently came to my games and checked up.

"They have one of the best programs for my major and I was up for the challenge of going away from home and being able to play the game I love at the school I fell in love with."

The Blue Devils certainly fell in love with their former catcher. Oddly enough, it wasn’t exactly love at first sight.

Thanks to Rorar’s ability to produce at the plate, Lightel decided to move all-star catcher Jordyn Severns to shortstop.

And how did Tallmadge’s new backstop respond?

Let’s just say it was a Hall-of-Fame caliber performance.

All Rorar did was bat a Tony Gwynn-like .368 while smacking 35 hits. By the way, 11 of those base knocks went for extra bases.

Sounds like a season worthy of several Grammy Awards, huh? Rorar’s former coach sure thinks so.

"Kennedy is a rock star offensively," Lightel said. "Her swing is beautiful and her ability to make contact and make things happen make her a key aspect to our lineup.

"She has always been a talented catcher with a really strong arm. Unfortunately, she emerged behind Jordyn and that allowed for us to utilize her arm in the outfield when she was a sophomore."

Rorar could see time behind the plate or in the outfield when she suits up for the Dragons next year.

They could certainly use their new recruit as quickly as possible. That’s because these particular fire-breathing creatures didn’t bring much heat this spring.

Tiffin won just two of its first 14 games before the season was canceled.

However, the Dragons looked more like Leviathans the previous year. Tiffin finished 30-17 overall, including 18-8 in the GLIAC.

Rorar definitely wants to crack the Dragons’ starting lineup someday. She has significant other goals in mind too.

It has something to do with a certain three-word Latin phrase.

In case you’re wondering, it’s translation is something like this: "with highest honor."

"I plan to be starting at some point and one of my biggest goals is to maintain straight A’s and get my bachelor’s degree or further in forensic science," Rorar said. "I want to get a good internship at its coroner’s office and begin to study further to open my horizon to bigger job openings."

Rorar, who has played softball for the last 13 years, took advantage of her first "job opening" at the tender age of 10. That’s when she first sported the tools of ignorance.

"I always was the main catcher growing up in Ellet, but I also was known for being a utility player," Rorar said. "I caught and started learning how to play shortstop my freshman year on JV (junior varsity) and then I was the right fielder on varsity my sophomore year.

"I played shortstop and outfield after that and then I stuck to catching about halfway through the season of my junior year."

Her position might have changed somewhat if not for the virus. Before the season was canceled, Lightel toyed with the idea of taking her prized catcher out of the infield completely.

"I feel for Kennedy because she won’t be able to show off all of the off-season work she put in," Lightel said. "We had big plans to do some position rearranging and to be able to see some more from Kennedy in the outfield because of her arm. I know she was excited to be back out there."

Rorar also was excited to prop up her team’s ponytails, deliver more treats and offer countless therapy sessions free of charge.

In the end, Rorar knows that some of her dearest friends will be able "to stand their ground" without her. She plans to do the same when she makes her home near the Sandusky River later this summer.

Besides, Rorar knows her former teammates will always be there for her in some way, shape or form.

It’s a safe bet L.M. Montgomery would enthusiastically agree.

For Rorar, the 20th-century Canadian author may have said it best when it comes to saying goodbye to a number of her favorite people.

"True friends are always together in spirit."

"It was amazing," Rorar said. "I wouldn’t have changed a single thing. Every moment meant something to me, big or little.

"I was privileged to have such good teammates and such a good coaching staff. I wouldn’t be the player I am today without them.

"They helped shape me into the person I am today. I am very fortunate to come to such a great school who cared for athletics and academics."

Reporter Frank Aceto can be reached at 330-541-9444, faceto@recordpub.com or @FrankAceto_Gannett.