UConn softball typically wears their classic home whites in their games at Burrill Family Field in Storrs, sometimes swapping out white trousers for blue, but not this Sunday.
Nope, for their doubleheader against East Carolina the Huskies were decked out in blue jerseys, blue pants and bright gold socks paired with bright gold headbands, while the coaching staff rocked gold shirts: it was gold for Pediatric Cancer Awareness Day.
This is the first year UConn softball has supported this cause, but it already made quite an impression on their team.
UConn softball partnered with Team IMPACT, a national organization that pairs collegiate athletic teams with children facing serious or chronic illnesses, and were matched with 11-year-old Abbie Brouker back in November.
A native of Farmington, Connecticut, Brouker was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) in 2007, but her cancer has been in remission for 10 years as of this Sunday. Brouker wasn’t present on Saturday, feeling a bit under the weather, but her impact on the team was nevertheless felt in the doubleheader.
“[ALL] is a huge cause for us,” softball Head Coach Jen McIntyre said. “Abbey is quite an important member of our team and we were sad she couldn’t be here today, but we certainly understand.”
This day had special meaning for freshman infielder Briana Marcelino, who had a monster Saturday, going 4-8 with three doubles and a single.
“This day is really important to me, I’ve had some family members who’ve had cancer before, and it means a lot for people to come out and show support for the cause,” Marcelino said.
Pitcher Jill Stockley, who threw five innings and allowed only two earned runs in the second game of the day, spoke to their unique situation to be able to promote their cause.
“This is our first year doing awareness for pediatric cancer and I think with softball and how many people show up, you have such an opportunity to reach out to people and make a difference,” said Stockley.
Indeed, the attendance on the beautiful Saturday was well over a hundred, plenty on hand to see the Huskies’ commitment to the cause and participate in the post-game softball toss, which raised over $300 for pediatric cancer research.
“We just really are passionate about doing everything we can to find a cure for pediatric cancer, so that no kid has to suffer,” McIntyre said.
Luke Swanson is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.