Softball tournament with 20 area teams to honor Capital Gazette's Rebecca Smith

Softball tournament with 20 area teams to honor Capital Gazette's Rebecca Smith
DJay Poling, fiance of Annapolis shooting victim Rebecca Smith, posted this memorial photo from Gray-Charles Stricker Field in Dundalk on Facebook the day after the June 28 shooting at the Capital Gazette that left five dead. (Courtesy photo)

A benefit softball tournament is being held at the Carroll County Sports Complex starting at 8 a.m. Saturday, July 7, in memory of Rebecca Smith, a victim of the shooting at the Capital Gazette in Annapolis last week.

The tournament is being organized by BeastMode, the team that Smith’s fiance, DJay Poling, plays with, which is based primarily out of Carroll County and Hanover, Pennsylvania. Team members Brett and Carolyn Dedmon, both Westminster residents, also set up a GoFundMe campaign that has raised $10,915 as of Friday night, exceeding its $8,000 goal, in seven days.


About 20 teams are competing in the tournament — from as far as Delaware and Aberdeen — and donating their entry fees to the campaign. One team member, Hanover resident Samantha Teal, said even teams that can’t join are donating their entry fees.

“We are like a family,” said Teal on Friday. “We are actually family.”

In addition to entry fees raising money, the team has also made raffle baskets, T-shirts to sell, a banner and raffle boards.

Items included in the raffle include: two cases of Monster Energy, two tickets to Monster Jam in Hagerstown on July 27, one Element skateboard, one Monster pole sign, one NOS Snapback hat, one Monster hoodie, one Monster Gronk jersey, one Mutant T-shirt and an assortment of stickers, wristbands, posters, keychains and towels, according to a post in the Maryland Slow Pitch Softball Facebook page.

“We’ve tried to basically to do whatever we could do to raise money for this event,” Teal said.

“Rebecca’s been a part of my life, personally, for the past two years at least, and with the BeastMode family for the past six months — but in the softball world, everybody is basically in cahoots with each other. Her fiance, DJay, has played with us on and off for years now, and we were actually all together the weekend prior to all of this happening, in Ocean City for a softball tournament.”

In addition to supporting Poling and his daughter Rileigh, 9, with unexpected expenses after the June 28 tragedy, the funds will be used for Smith’s memorial service, which is scheduled for 2 to 4 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m. Sunday, July 8, at the Duda-Ruck Funeral Home, 7922 Wise Ave. in Dundalk.

The BeastMode team has also supported Poling in other ways since the shooting, like by making T-shirts with Smith’s nickname, “Becca,” printed on the back with the No. 8, and surprising him by wearing them as a team outside his home, according to a Facebook post from June 29.

“I literally broke down in tears,” Poling wrote. “But for the first time in [two] days ... Happy tears. Tears because through this crazy time I have my blood family who have done EVERYTHING to make this horrible time a little easier, I also have my softball family. This ... This is why Rebecca Smith and I were so into this game. For this family. We miss you baby, and even though this is the toughest time in my life ... I am surrounded by the people we loved.”

“Rebecca was very near and dear to our hearts,” Teal said. “She was a sweet girl. She’d do anything in the world for you. … She had a bubbly personality. She was always happy and smiling, even when she was in pain.

“She was an Endo-battler,” she said. “She battled endometriosis for a long time, so that was always a struggle. Even up to finding her diagnosis and after, she was always in pain, you could tell.

“But she would never stop smiling, she would never stop smiling.”

More information on Smith’s memorial service can be found on the Duda-Ruck website at