FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) — The Bullard Knights’ softball group is 24 hours away from taking part in in its second straight Valley championship.
“Enthusiastic, we have now a variety of enjoyable,” says head coach Jamie Maxey.
After capturing a Division II title final season, the women have an opportunity to now declare a Division I title at Margie Wright Diamond.
“We actually take pleasure in being round one another and dealing with one another,” says pitcher Bella Gallegos.
“Our chemistry, it is simply on level daily,” says outfielder Emily Madrigal.
It is a togetherness rooted in a former Bullard participant.
“Her character is absolutely on the basis of who we’re and who I would like these younger girls to develop to be,” Maxey stated.
Just some weeks in the past, the group formally devoted the sphere to the late Jenny Eller, a standout catcher and former teammate of coach Maxey.
“They gave us a name, and my spouse and I simply broke down into tears,” says Dean Eller.
Jenny’s story, though tragic, is certainly one of inspiration.
“She was given a dying sentence,” Dean stated.
In 1992, at simply 17 in her senior yr at Bullard, Jenny was identified with leukemia.
“The primary phrases out of her mouth as we walked out the physician after getting that prognosis was, ‘Dad, I simply don’t desire you and mother to be unhappy.'”
For the subsequent 4 years, Jenny would struggle, kick-starting tens of hundreds of blood donations on the Central California Blood Heart, a constructing that now has her identify.
“She knew that was conserving her alive,” Dean stated. “She couldn’t dwell even into the subsequent week except she obtained a transfusion.”
Jenny would communicate to excessive faculties, schools, church buildings — anybody who was keen to assist these affected by the identical hand she’d been dealt.
“I promised that evening, I imply, actually only a couple minutes earlier than she died, I might keep on her work,” Dean stated.
Following her dying in 1995, Dean saved his promise, ultimately turning into the President and CEO of the Central California Blood Heart, serving to drive almost 3 million blood donations since his daughter’s passing.
“That mentality carries over to this softball discipline,” he stated.
“The ladies faucet the signal each time they enter or exit the dugout, so she’s been a fixture on this group for years,” Maxey stated.
Jenny’s spirit is alive and nicely — carried on by each participant who places on a Bullard jersey.
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