April 19, 2013
The Siena softball team will play in 45 games this season, but Saturday might be the most important. Not in terms of trying to move up in the standings or needing to continue a win streak, but for a reason greater than just putting a W on the left side of the win-loss column. The doubleheader against Rider University will serve as Siena’s ‘Pink Zone’ game where the team will honor relatives and friends of their families who have been affected by some sort of cancer.
“It’s more than just playing to win,” sophomore Paige Lloyd said. “We’re playing for the people who we loved who have either survived from it or people who we have lost.”
The Saints will be raising money throughout the game by selling pink hats and t-shirts, with all money raised going to the Capital Region Action Against Breast Cancer (CRAAB!), an organization that Siena has been involved with in other breast cancer events.
“Everyone is going to want to come out and help out a big cause,” Lloyd said. “We’re all raising money for this and showing how important this all is to us; hopefully people will want to keep raising and keep this in memory.”
Players of the team have come together to make ribbons of relatives or friends who have been affected by any form of the disease. All the names will be on display on the back of the dugout during the game, adding a different feeling to the event.
“It’s more emotional,” sophomore pitcher Antonia Edwards said. “I have a cousin who I was very close to, one of my mom’s best friends who passed away. Being able to honor her, it brings different emotions to the table.”
Paige Lloyd, had a high school coach pass away after battling breast cancer, knows that this game will bring more motivation for each player on the team.
“Just knowing that when I’m on the field that I’m playing for her,” she said. “I’m putting everything on the line for her and playing in memory of her.”
This will be the second breast cancer event that this Saints team has been a part of this season. After the game at New Mexico, the team entered the field and lit candles in memory of anyone they knew who passed away.
“Some of the other players were crying some of the players on our team were crying,” Edwards said. “We weren’t looking at each other as competitors, we were looking at each other as friends.”
“We saw the looks on everyone’s faces of the people they lost and kind of made us think about the people we lost,” Lloyd said. “It really means a lot to us having everyone out playing for this one cause and everyone we know and love, all their names are around and it will really hit us personally.”
The Siena ceremony will take place after the second game when fans will circle around the field, and each team will release a balloon, each representing a special intention.
“The girls on the team really want to play hard for family members because it is all something that we could relate to,” Edwards said. “It’s nice to see not only our team but the other team come together and be able to bring awareness. We’re competitors but at the same time we all could relate to family members having cancer.”
“It’s not like one in a million people knows someone,” Lloyd said. “If you ask ‘hey raise your hand if anyone in your family has been affected by this’ almost everyone is going to raise their hand. Almost everyone knows someone who has been affected from cancer, it is really important and will hit a lot of people.”