March 27, 2012
By Jon Cooper
It’s doubtful that any of the current players on the Georgia Tech Softball Team remember Amy Hosier, the slugging outfielder, who was an instrumental part of the team from 2003 through 2006.
That’s understandable as Hosier, 28, relates better to the coaching staff — Head Coach Sharon Perkins was Assistant Coach and Associate Head Coach at Georgia during Hosier’s Tech career, pitching coach Shaina Ervin was an opponent, pitching for NC State, and Assistant Coach Aileen Morales was her teammate as a freshman and a sophomore during Hosier’s final two seasons.
The ’12 Jackets and Hosier know each other a lot better now.
Since March 14, a Wednesday night game against Georgia, they have been sisters-in-arms.
Beginning that night, the team kicked off a fundraising drive for Hosier, who has battled breast cancer since last November.
The team will be raising money at every home game through the April 8th series finale with Maryland, designated “The Pink Game.” On that date, the team will wear pink jerseys then auction them off following the game. All the proceeds will go to Hosier.
The response from the Tech family has made a difference to the Colorado native.
“It makes me want to fight harder,” said Hosier, who is halfway through her chemotherapy, having already endured eight sessions. “There has been so much support that I never thought was out there. Seeing all of it makes me want to fight harder and make it through this as strong as I can.”
Coming back to Atlanta was especially nice,
“It was overwhelming at times,” she said. “It was so nice to see everybody come out and support me. I saw a lot of my teammates who I hadn’t seen in about four or five years. It was really good to see them and to actually sit down and see the new field. It was the first time I saw the new field and got to watch a game. So it was a lot of fun.”
Morales feels Hosier should not have been surprised by the outpouring on her behalf.
“Any time someone in our family is sick or struggling, we want to be there to help them through it. That’s what family does,” she said. “It’s a testament to the Athletic Association as well as our softball program and anybody who’s helped be involved, letter-winners, alumni. It just speaks volumes to have the response that we’ve had and have so many people trying to give back or try to help in whatever way they can. It’s the least we can do. Amy’s got the battle right now. She’s been in great spirits, she was in great spirits the whole weekend.”
Morales, who credited former Jackets Jessica Sallinger (Class of 2005) and Caitlin Lever (Class of `07) for doing the heavy lifting, described Hosier as the kind of person who certainly would have been among those being at the forefront in getting involved were it someone else in distress.
“She always wanted to take care of people, she was a very nurturing person, strong but nurturing,” said Morales. “To see her going through this is tough because she’s such a great person. Beyond the softball, she’s such a great person and it’s tough to see somebody who is such a genuinely caring person going through a tough time. I just remember her always being so caring and always willing to help other teammates. So that’s why we’re trying to throw some help back towards her.”
The Georgia game alone generated approximately $800 and that doesn’t include a fundraiser set up by Sallinger that Friday night, sales of pink gear at home games, which is still on-going, and donations to AmysAngels21.com, a website started by her parents.
Hosier, who is working for the State of Colorado, has good days and bad days as she continues her treatment although she said that lately the good days are outnumbering the bad thanks to her current medication, which leaves her less fatigued. She prefers not to look too far ahead, but admits there are days she looks forward to once she has beaten cancer.
“I can help people in the future. If someone else is going through it, I can be one of those survivor stories where I can try to help somebody else get through it,” she said. “They have a lot of forums online and there are local groups in the area that help out with cancer victims, which I’m a part of. I’d like to continue doing that on the other side of it, as a survivor, rather than as a patient. That’s one thing I look forward to.”
Another is getting back to the softball field.
“I’d like to get back somehow into the softball world because I really do miss it,” she said. “Something with sports management, something like that. I don’t really talk too much about it right now.”
Morales looks forward to another visit from Hosier, one as special as her first but celebrating something more important.
“We definitely would love to bring her back and be celebrating her recovery and beating cancer,” she said. “For us, that’s in the future and we’ll look forward to that and celebrate that when that day comes.”
To send a donation or get more information, visit: www.amysangels21.com.
Note: The Georgia Tech women’s tennis team will also be hosting its annual `Ace for the Cure’ match Sunday, April 1, against Duke at noon at the Bill Moore Tennis Center. All proceeds will go to the Amy’s Angels Foundation.