Wounded Warriors still have game
Arizona alumni face team of amputee vets in exhibition play
Following No. 13 Arizona's 8-0 victory in five innings against Charleston on Saturday, fans were treated to a special postgame event as a team of Wildcat alumni took on the Wounded Warrior Amputee Softball Team (WWAST).
The Wounded Warriors were playing their second game in as many years at Hillenbrand Stadium as they also played an intrasquad match on March 11, 2011, following a Wildcats game with Baylor. That was the Wounded Warriors' first event, and the team has since travelled the country and played a number of exhibitions in the past year.
|WOUNDED WARRIORS GAME|
An all-star lineup of former Wildcats signed up to play in the exhibition game against the Wounded Warriors Amputee Softball Team, including:
Candace Abrams, Marci Aguilar, Chrissy Alexander-Gill, K'Lee Arredondo, Callista Balko, Erika Balko, Lauren Baure, Jackie Coburn, Teresa Demeter, Jane Dougall, Cyndi Duran, Laura Espinosa, Brandi Foster (Shriver), Alicia Hollowell, Stacy Iveson, Brittany Lastrapes, Caitlin Lowe, Jill Malina, Jen Martinez, Jennifer Martinez, Chelsie Mesa, Crystal Morales (Farley), Ashley Ralston-Alvarez, Danielle Rodriguez, Katie Swan-Milo, Mackenzie Vandergeest, Felicity Willis and Leslie Wolfe.
To set up the game, Arizona Senior Associate Athletic Director Rocky LaRose and Dave Herr Cardillo from the UA Disability Resource Center coordinated with David Van Sleet, who organized the Wounded Warriors Amputee Softball Team.
According to its website, the mission of the WWAST is "to raise awareness, through exhibition and celebrity softball games, of the sacrifices and resilience of our military, and highlight their ability to rise above any challenge. Our goal is to show other amputees and the general population, that these athletes through extensive rehabilitation and training are able to express their desires and perform the sport they loved."
After a fall scrimmage scheduled between current Wildcats and alumni fell through due to scheduling conflicts, Arizona head coach Mike Candrea decided to combine alumni weekend with the Wounded Warriors game.
"It's a tremendous opportunity for our players and fans to watch these young men playing a game that they truly enjoy," Candrea said. "It's an opportunity for our fans to thank these young men for their sacrifices in protecting our freedom. It's also a very powerful statement for our athletes to watch the positive mindset of these young men perform our sport with disabilities that they have chosen to not let affect their passion and love for sport and life."
The Wounded Warriors shared the field with some of the biggest names in the history of the sport as Arizona's alumni have combined for eight NCAA championship banners that hang on the outfield fence of Hillenbrand Stadium.
"It is always fun to get together as alumni and come back to play at Hillenbrand Stadium," said Alicia Hollowell, a four-time All-American and the team's director of operations. "This game is special playing against the Wounded Warrior Amputee Softball Team and [to face a] group of individuals that put their lives on the line for us to have the freedoms we have."
For more information on the Wounded Warrior Amputee Softball Team, click here.