Bearcat Softball Team Raises Funds for Breast Cancer Research

By Robert McKinney, Athletics Communications Director, (503) 370-6110

SALEM, ORE. -- The Willamette University softball team raised funds for breast cancer research when the Bearcats took on Whitworth University on Saturday, April 7. The Strike Out Cancer fundraiser brought in $420 from Willamette and Whitworth fans.

The event was organized by team members Kelli Snyder (Jr., C, Longview, WA/Kelso HS) and Savannah Pingree (Fr., RHP, Newcastle, CA/Del Oro HS).

Players wore light pink socks and new uniform tops with hot pink "Willamette Softball" on the front and pink numbers on the back. The Bearcats also sold pink breast cancer bracelets that Snyder and Pingree purchased in advance with their own money.

In addition, Snyder said, "Savannah and I made pink ribbons for the girls to wear, which included their number written on the them and the initials of their family member, if applicable, who has breast cancer or has had breast cancer. We also asked Willamette fans to donate a dollar for every strikeout our pitchers had, as well as Whitworth fans to donate a dollar for every strikeout their pitchers had."

According to Snyder there are 22 people who have breast cancer or have had breast cancer who are associated with players or coaches on the softball team.

"My mother is a two-time survivor of breast cancer, so this day meant a lot to me and my family, WU Head Coach Damian Williams said. "It was great to see the Willamette Softball family come together to support this cause. We would also like to thank the Whitworth coaching staff, who made a very sizable donation."

Jessica Barry (Jr., LF, Cupertino, CA/Monte Vista HS/UNLV) spoke over the public address system prior to the game to explain the Strike Out Cancer fundraiser and to pay tribute to those in attendance who have had breast cancer. The grandmother of one player, the aunt of another, and a Willamette professor who has taught several members of the team were among those honored by the Bearcats.

"It was a beautiful weekend to have the event and our whole team had been looking forward to it for weeks," Snyder said.

Pingree added, "I am so happy that our efforts toward fund raising for breast cancer were successful. I feel like our team worked really hard to fund raise for such a great cause."

The Bearcats held a Strike Out Cancer fund raiser during their doubleheader against Whitworth on April 7.

The Bearcats held a Strike Out Cancer fund raiser during their doubleheader against Whitworth on April 7.

WU softball players wore special uniforms during both games of the Strike Out Cancer doubleheader.

WU softball players wore special uniforms during both games of the Strike Out Cancer doubleheader.