Softball’s Pink Week Game Hits Close to Home

KATIE PICKRELL

Mountain Vista’s varsity softball team took on Ponderosa High School for the annual pink game on Wednesday, Sept. 30. The Golden Eagles stormed the field and immediately put three runs on the board within the first inning of a game that ended, 8-2, with Vista on top.

The team dominated on defense, only allowing two runs late in the game with junior Paige McGuire on the mound. Offense showed an even more impressive track record for the game. Sophomore Rebecca Gonzales batted in four runs over two homers.

pink game rebecca HR 1

Gonzales bats in her first home run against Ponderosa High School. The first of two home run hits, Gonzales kept the ball in the park and sped to home. The throw to the plate came late behind Gonzales, allowing her to increase the lead from 3-0 to 4-0.

pink game rebecca HR 2

With an almost identical swing, Gonzales nails in another dinger during her next at bat. This time Gonzales increased the score three points after drilling the ball over the fence.

Throughout the entire game, concessions were ran by volunteers handing out hotdogs and cake-pops for donations.

pink game concessions 1

Sophomores Jared Skillington and Dawson Kane worked concessions during the game. Skillington’s older sister plays on the varsity softball team, which encouraged him to participate in the fundraiser. “I work the concessions to earn community service hours, [but] I liked that this time I could help raise money for Mrs. Cash,” Skillington said.

pink game concessions

After grilling up a load of hot dogs, the student and parent volunteers handed them out to hungry fans watching the game.

All donations were collected for the Cash family as Susan Cash, wife of head football coach Ric Cash and mother of senior Kat Cash and sophomore Jess Cash, was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer this past spring on May 4, 2015.

Upon her diagnosis, her daughter Kat posted: “My mom is my rock and it’s impossible to put into words what it’s like to see the strongest person you know grow weak in sickness. However I know that through all of this she will fight and she will be okay! I know the road to health is not a smooth one and for that I ask for prayer.”

pink game cash and kat 1

Mother Susan and daughters Jess and Kat Cash meet up on the field following the Golden Eagles’ victory. Players from both Mountain Vista and Ponderosa dedicated their play to the Cash family and lined up to give Susan Cash flowers, hugs and warm wishes following the game. Kat Cash stepped out in back of the Ponderosa players to embrace her mom.

pink game cash and kat

Before the whole team flooded to their side, Susan and Kat Cash embraced in an emotional setting.

Stage 3 breast cancer indicates that the cancerous cells may have spread beyond the tumor region and into lymph nodes and muscles, but not organs. That being said, stage 3 breast cancer is considered extremely serious, but still treatable.

Cash began a 20-week chemotherapy treatment soon after her diagnosis. Hospital bills are already expensive enough, but cancer takes an even larger tolls than most ailments. The treatment Cash receives is even more costly as some of it is an out of pocket expense to the family.

“[We’re] getting close to end of the chemo[therapy],” Kat Cash said. “The next step is radiation and surgery to remove the tumor. Then recovery time and reconstructive surgery.”

Teammate and friend Lauren Lamb also shares a special connection to the implications of breast cancer. In February of 2008, after a long and hard fought battle, Lamb lost her mother, Jill Lamb, to breast cancer. Since then, the Jill Lamb Foundation has been working to provide support to families like the Cash family that are dealing with the negative tolls of cancer.

During pink week from Monday, Oct. 5 to Saturday, Oct.10 all of the money raised through the Jill Lamb Foundation will go directly to the Cash family.

“I think what [pink week means] has changed a lot over the years. It’s a way to spread awareness about breast cancer and for the players it’s about playing for someone, playing for a cause and playing for something that means something to you,” Lamb said. “This year it was a lot more personal, especially for the Cash family.”

pink game lauren out

Lamb tags her opponent for an out against Ponderosa. All of the players on the field play with purpose on the day of the pink game, but for Lamb the day’s even more important. “It was really cool this year,” Lamb said. “It was different because my mom effected my life but not really anybody else’s. With Susan Cash it was different because she was there and everyone knows her.” The pink game was one of the first big wins of the season, too. “It was really nice because we’ve been losing by one run and we won by a lot,” Lamb said. “We’re hoping we can make it to regionals.”

At the Mountain Vista, Rock Canyon varsity football game on Saturday, Oct. 10, Kat Cash and Lamb will be speaking together about the cause of pink week.

“Lauren and I have been best friends since we were five,” Cash said. “Her mom was always like a second mom to me and when her mom passed away it was really hard on both of us. My mom just got hit with it out of nowhere,” Cash continued. “[My mom] is like a second mom to Lauren so it’s all very personal to her and me.”

There will also be a miracle minute to raise cash for the Cash family, so make sure to bring money to help support them.

To support the Cash family’s GoFundMe, click here.

For more information regarding the Jill Lamb Foundation, click here.

Screenshot 2015-09-30 23.26.55

PHOTOS BY: Katie Pickrell

 

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