To support the Murray families affected by the tragic train vs truck accident that occured May 27 Clarke baseball and softball teamed up for a silent auction fundraiser at the June 21 home softball game against Chariton.
Clarke softball won the game 9-6 while raising $6,000 for the three Murray families.
“We took the lead and then we extended the lead,” said Coach Vanessa Bakley. “We did a lot of good things offensively like getting runners on base, getting good hits at good times, executing our bunts and doing our job.”
The team has really been working on looking for a perfect pitch during practices which came in handy during the game against Chariton. Knowing what they want to hit and having the skill to make the pitcher throw something that they want to hit has been worked a lot at practice lately.
“We bounced back from our error well and we got out of the inning,” said Bakley. “They hit the ball here and there but we have to excecute and really get outs that are given to us.”
In practice the team focuses on hitting the ball wherever it’s at in case they have two strikes then they can protect and have a good at bat even if they don’t get the pitch they want.
“It was really a team effort. They went out and supported eachother together,” said DeAnndra Blackford, assistant coach. “We made big plays on defense and we had girls come through on offense but I don’t think there was one person to give that credit to.”
“We raised $6,000, it was insane,” said Bakley. “So we’ll be splitting that three ways.”
With three tables full of silent auction donations there was plenty for spectators at the June 21 game to choose from. Some options included two loads of gravel plus hauling, a cooler, a smoker, gift cards, a tanning package, leaf removal and much more.
“It was great to see the community support Murray and everything that those families have been through,” said Blackford. “I think there were Chariton families that purchsed silent auction items as well, or at least bid on them. And I think that’s huge just to see everybody in southern Iowa come together to make something happen.”
Lonnie Smith, Clarke Baseball coach collaborated with Bakley to get the fundraiser going since they knew that some of their players went to school with one of the kids killed in the accident. The softball players went around to local businesses to collect donations for the silent auction. Some donated money while other donated baskets or specific items.
“It was super awesome. It was a really good turn out and a lot of people came from the community to support, it was really nice,” said Bakley.