NATIONAL NEWS (CNN) — On April 15, the Boston Red Sox won an early-season game at Fenway Park in dramatic, walk-off fashion in the bottom of the ninth inning.
About 30 minutes later, that win -- and baseball in general -- ceased to matter; the Boston Marathon -- a sports-crazed city's most exalted annual sporting event -- had just been bombed by terrorists.
Nearly six months to the day later, the Red Sox needed some Game 2 inspiration after an uninspired performance against the Detroit Tigers in Game 1 of the American League Championship Series.
They only needed to look to the pre-game ceremonies Sunday night, when 7-year-old Jane Richard stood on her new prosthetic leg before a sellout crowd and poignantly sang the National Anthem.
Singing in front of nearly 40,000 people made her strong, but the circumstances that brought her there made her Boston Strong.
Jane, who lives in the city's Dorchester neighborhood, didn't just lose her leg in the Boston Marathon terror attacks. She lost her big brother, 8-year-old Martin, as well.
She underwent 12 surgeries and spent months recovering in Boston hospitals. When she was finally discharged, the Richard family issued an update that coincided with the bombing's four-month mark.
"Jane continues to be an incredible source of inspiration -- and exhaustion," the August 15 statement read. "The loss of her leg has not slowed her one bit, or deterred her in any way."
Fenway Park is barely a David Ortiz home run away from the marathon's finish line in Copley Square where the bombs went off and changed the city forever.
On Sunday night in Fenway Park, Ortiz hit a late-inning home run to tie a game that the Red Sox would later win in dramatic, walk-off fashion in the bottom of the ninth inning.
On Sunday night in Fenway Park, that win mattered.
On Sunday night in Fenway Park, baseball mattered again.