Virginia Tech Baseball Team Returns To Playing Field For First Time Since Massacre

Friday, April 20th 2007, 5:08 pm
By: News On 6

BLACKSBURG, Va. (AP) _ On a day marked by tears and mourning, prayer vigils and tolling bells, life was beginning to return to normal on at least part of the Virginia Tech campus: the school's baseball field.

Workers groomed the diamond in preparation for a game Friday evening against the University of Miami, the first sporting event held since Monday's rampage by a student gunman who killed 32 people.

``I think that students need to get back to normal,'' said junior Chance Hellmann, who wandered near the diamond with a friend hours before the game. His friend Nicole White, 20, was killed in the shooting.

``Anything that keeps your mind off this is a good thing,'' he said.

Miami players and coaches were to wear black wristbands in memory of the victims during the three-game series against the Hokies.

Miami head coach Jim Morris planned to present a $10,000 check on behalf of the university for the Hokie Spirit and Memorial Fund.

Gov. Timothy Kaine declared Friday a statewide day of mourning for the victims. Churches around the country held vigils and prayer services. Parents of the victims urged everyone to focus on those killed in the attack, rather than Seung-Hui Cho, the 23-year-old gunman.