May 2, 2014
By Michael Kasiborski | Courtesy MGoBlue.com
The University of Michigan softball team, led by head coach Carol Hutchins, and in conjunction with the American Cancer Society, raised $118,283 for the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer organization during its fifth annual Michigan Softball Academy on Thursday (May 2), a new benchmark for the event.
Since partnering with Making Strides in 2007, the Michigan softball program has raised more than $468,000 for the organization to support breast cancer research and outreach.
The fifth edition of the Academy proved to be the most successful yet. The 2014 Academy sold out all 250 of the available spots, and an additional 65 people joined the cause at the post-clinic silent auction. The $118,283 in fundraising raised the bar by more than $36,000 from 2013′s total ($82,235). The Academy combines an adults-only softball clinic at the Wilpon Complex with a silent auction at the Junge Family Champions Center.
The Academy participants went through a full Michigan softball experience, complete with on-field drills that include hitting, fielding, pitching and running the bases. Michigan’s coaching staff and student-athletes, along with softball alums and the University of Detroit softball team and head coach Liz Young, serve as clinicians on Alumni Field.
This year’s top fundraiser was Measie James. She raised more than $14,000 individually. Her team, Saving Second Base, also was the top fundraising team bringing in more than $22,000, edging out WTKA Michigan’s Insider, which raised more than $20,000. James will throw out the first pitch at tonight’s (May 2) “Pink Game” against Wisconsin.
Kathleen Beilein served as the honorary chair of the fifth annual Softball Academy, helping to spearhead recruitment by rallying the Ann Arbor and Michigan Athletics community to the cause. She was joined by past chairwomen Jan Brandon, Laura Hoke and Michigan first lady Sue Snyder. A committee 20 volunteers helps plan and execute the Academy in partnership with the American Cancer Society.
Michigan will don pink jerseys tonight (May 2) in game one of its series with Wisconsin at the Wilpon Complex. First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m., and the game will be streamed live on MGoBlueTV , as well as carried live on 1290 WLBY. Tickets are available through MGoBlue.com/Tickets.