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Mesa's Benedictine U

Plans 100-Inning Ballgame

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In Launching The Softball Program For The Mesa Campus, Coach Decided On A Unique Fundraiser That Will Also Feature Softball-Related Activities And Some Appearances By Political Figures

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By Wayne Schutsky
Modern Times Magazine

Aug. 18, 2015 — If you thought mass last Sunday was long, think again. The Benedictine University at Mesa softball program is kicking off its inaugural season with a marathon fundraising event that even the most long-winded priest might find excessive.

On Sept. 19, the softball team will be hosting the 1st Annual 100 Inning Softball Game to raise money for the program heading into its first season. The event will kick off at 8:30 a.m. at Ellsworth Park in Mesa and feature multiple softball-related activities, including a silent auction, 50/50 raffle, run the bases, fastest pitch zone and fastest bat speed contest.

The team’s goal is to raise $60,000 through sponsorships in order to pay for field renovations, team travel, uniforms and equipment.

When it came time to fundraise, head coach Jon Malgradi decided to go with the marathon game instead of the more traditional fundraisers to help the program stand out. That plan seems to be working, though the players may not be able to stand up afterwards.

“Every program out here does a charity golf tournament or auction,” said Malgradi. “This is unique and the response from businesses has been ‘wow.’”

The team expects 300 to 500 people to attend the fundraiser, including Mesa Mayor John Giles. Gov. Doug Ducey has been invited but has not yet committed to attend.

The actual length of the fundraiser is not the only thing that makes it notable, though. It will also mark the first innings of play the new Benedictine softball team will play together.

“It really is a historic event,” said Malgradi.

The team will only have about 10 days of practice under its belt by the time the event arrives.
The event should last well into the afternoon, so pack plenty of water and sunscreen and pray to God for some cloud cover.

“It’s going to be a long, grinding day for the girls and coaches,” he said.

That’s an understatement.

Wayne Schutsky is a senior contributor to Modern Times Magazine.
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