While Seton Hall softball was able to pick up a dramatic walk-off victory over Hofstra University on April 11 at Mike Sheppard, Sr. Field, there was a much bigger cause that each team was playing for than the names on their uniforms.
The game was also supporting the Go4theGoal Foundation with Lace Up 4 Pediatric Cancer. Both teams donned gold laces on their cleats during the game, and programs with Go4theGoal’s mission were also available at the game. Lace Up 4 Pediatric Cancer was also supported by the men’s and women’s soccer teams at a home game in the fall.
“As a team we talk about life being bigger than softball and sometimes that’s hard to do,” head coach Paige Smith said. “When you’re a coach and you’re with them 20 hours a week and you’re always pressing softball, it’s great to incorporate that into a cause that’s much bigger.”
Lace Up 4 Pediatric Cancer began in the fall of 2011, and more than 250,000 athletes at the youth, college and professional levels have donned the gold laces in support and to show commitment to fight the disease, which is the No. 1 disease killer among children. Go4theGoal works to improve the lives of children battling cancer by providing financial assistance, granting special wishes, developing unique hospital programs and funding innovative research.
The Pirates have been adamant in looking for donations and helping the cause through fundraising. They encourage those to continue exceeding their original fundraising goal of $2,500. The team has raised $2,808 for the cause as of April 18.
“The cause helps teach us more than softball ever could,” Smith added. “It’s great to be a part of and it takes a little pressure the kids too, knowing that they can play for something bigger.”
Several players, friends and family members have made large contributions, but none have come bigger than through Darby Pandolfo. The freshman has received more than 10 donations for a total of $630, according to the team’s fundraising page. Pandolfo has been extremely active and involved in a cause she cares about.
“I think it’s awesome to contribute,” Pandolfo said. “I think it’s great for us all to come together. We’re two teams playing against each other but we’re able to come together as one for one goal. It’s a great cause and I’m glad I can help out.”
Overall, seven players have been able to raise more than $100 to support the cause. This fundraising effort comes after the team participated in an act of awareness for a summer league teammate of Valerie Suto. The Pirates had pink wristbands and raised money for the #DanniStrong campaign.
Of course, grabbing the victory in a come-from-behind fashion while down to their last out was a boost for the Pirates, too. The game drew a large number of fans for both teams, and the warm, sunny weather helped get more fans out to the game and aware of the cause. The two-run double by Alyssa Prukop in the bottom of the seventh inning proved to be the difference maker for Seton Hall, which picked up its 19th victory with the win over northeast powerhouse Hofstra.
To learn more about Go4theGoal and how to make a difference, visit Go4theGoal.org. To learn more about the Pirates’ efforts in battling the disease and how to donate, visit the team’s fundraising page at donate.go4thegoal.org/setonhallsoftball.
Matt Lamb can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @MattS_Lamb.