Softball Academy Helps Raise Thousands in Fight Against Breast Cancer

May 3, 2013

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- The University of Michigan softball team, led by head coach Carol Hutchins and in conjunction with the American Cancer Society, raised $78,575 for the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer organization during its fourth annual Softball Academy on Thursday (May 2).

The Softball Academy continues to shatter previous benchmarks, setting record numbers in 2013 for participation with 216 attendees and total fundraising efforts. By comparison, the 2012 academy had 130 participants and brought in $42,023 in fundraising. The event combines an adult softball clinic with the Michigan coaches and student-athletes at the Wilpon Complex, along with a silent auction held at the Junge Family Champions Center.

Since partnering with the charity in 2007, the U-M softball program has raised $312,575 to help fund breast cancer research and outreach.

This year's participants went through a multitude of softball experiences and drills, from hitting and fielding, to pitching and running the bases. The clinic provides an opportunity to learn from and interact with Michigan's student-athletes and coaches while playing at Alumni Field.

This year's top fundraiser was Catherine Noble, a former U-M softball student-athletic trainer, whose mother is fighting breast cancer. Noble will throw out the first pitch at tonight's (May 3) game against Northwestern. The top fundraising team was Saving Second Base, led by team captain Measie James.

This year's honorary chairwoman was Jan Brandon, who helped spearhead recruitment and fundraising opportunities. She was joined in the effort by past chairwomen Laura Hoke and Michigan first lady Sue Snyder. A committee of 21 dedicated individuals helped plan and execute the Softball Academy with hundreds of volunteer hours.

This academy also received a big assist from the University of Detroit Mercy softball program and its head coach Liz Young. The team joined the U-M players to provide on-field instruction to the participants.

The Wolverines will don pink jerseys tonight in game one of their series against Northwestern at the Wilpon Complex. First pitch is slated for 6 p.m., and the game will be broadcasted on 1290 WLBY.

Contact: Michael Kasiborski (734) 763-4423

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