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Sierra College softball aims to strike out cancer

By: Special to the Journal
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Watch out, cancer!

The Sierra College softball team looks at cancer in much the same way it looks at Big 8 Conference teams: as an opponent to battle and dominate.

The Wolverines host their annual StrikeOut Cancer doubleheader Saturday as they take on cross-town rival American River College at noon and 2 p.m.

StrikeOut Cancer began more than a decade ago as an initiative of the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) and has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for the American Cancer Society and its affiliates. According to the NFCA’s website, “The program leverages the personal experiences, community leadership, and professional experience of fastpitch softball coaches nationwide to help increase cancer education.”

Sierra Head coach Darci Brownell and her Wolverines have hosted a StrikeOut Cancer Saturday annually since 2010 and have raised thousands of dollars for local arms of the American Cancer Society.

“We look forward to our StrikeOut Cancer weekend every year,” Brownell said. “The fans who’ve attended in past years have been so supportive and the cancer survivors who come out are inspiring to everyone.”

The highlight of event is the post-game balloon ceremony. Members of both teams, coaches and anyone touched by cancer gather in a circle in the infield and release balloons commemorating cancer victims and survivors.

“There isn’t a dry eye in the house when those balloons are released,” Brownell said.

In addition to the balloon ceremony, Saturday’s event will feature guest speakers, raffles, a BBQ, and a daylong soundtrack of classic rock and soul. The game features the defending Big 8 champion Wolverines, who are again leading the conference with a 6-0 record (16-6-1 overall), and the Beavers, who come to Rocklin in third place at 4-2 (18-5 overall).

Detailed information about the StrikeOut Cancer initiative can be found at the NFCA website, https://nfca.org/index.php/strikeout-cancer, or by contacting Matt Folsom at 916-337-2092 or Darci Brownell at dbrownell@sierracollege.edu.