Home runs from the heart — Skyline players rally for cancer victim

When Lindsey Nicholson first read about Meadowdale senior Ashley Aven's life-threatening battle with acute myeloid leukemia, the Skyline junior knew she personally wanted to do something.

Skyline's Lindsey Nicholson hones in on one of her 13 home runs May 6.

Skyline's Lindsey Nicholson hones in on one of her 13 home runs May 6.



When Lindsey Nicholson first read about Meadowdale senior Ashley Aven’s life-threatening battle with acute myeloid leukemia, the Skyline junior knew she personally wanted to do something.

A short time later, Spartan softball coach Alison Mitchell approached her players at team dinner, posing the question “What are we going to do?”

Nicholson had no hesitation.

“When I heard our team was going to do something about it, I just got even more excited about it,” she said.

Ideas were thrown out, and after deliberation, the team opted to host a home run derby on May 6 in support of Aven and her family.

“They realize that (fastpitch softball’s) a very small community,” Mitchell said. “When they read that they were just of the mindset of that’s something no kid should ever have to go through. You shouldn’t be worrying about things like that.”

Nicholson and seniors Margot Erwin and Lauren Wolfe designed flyers to pass out at school, and throughout Sammamish.

Working within a timeframe of about a week, the players drew in pledges from far and wide — some flat donations, while others donated money for every home run hit.

At last count, the players had raised approximately $6,000 for the Aven family, with some late donations still coming in.

While assisting a fellow softball player weighed heavy on their minds, there was no hiding another obvious aspect of last Thursday’s event.

“It’s a competition between all of us, we get excited about that,” Nicholson said, smiling.

Each varsity and junior varsity player received 25 at bats. Nicholson won the contest, hitting 13 home runs, earning $621 for her efforts. Anya Kamber and Mickey Dunn-Blad hit seven apiece, Erwin had six and Amy Ziegler had five. Erwin earned the most in the fundraiser, hauling in $1,200. In all, the Spartan players hit 58 home runs.

The Skyline players are still raising money for the Aven family by selling paper softballs at all their remaining games. People sign the softballs, which will be linked together. Parent organizer Shawna Dunn said she hopes when the team presents the monies to the Aven family at a whiffle ball tournament May 23, there are enough softballs to stretch from home plate, around the bases, back to home plate.

“Anybody can help,” Nicholson said. “It doesn’t matter who you are where you’re from. If you hear a story like this you can make a difference.”

Wolfe agreed, noting it just takes a little initiative.

“I just say don’t be afraid to step up and help out if you hear that someone needs it,” she said. “That family can really use some help, and I know lots of people would look at that article and say ‘Hey, I’d really like to help out, but I don’t know how.’ It’s really not that hard. Just print out a flyer, print out a sheet and get going.”


In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing editor@issaquahreporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.issaquahreporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

More in Sports

Photo courtesy of Panthers Youth Rugby
Panthers Youth Rugby rolls into action

Panthers Youth Rugby is encouraging boys and girls in middle school and… Continue reading

Photo of Eastlake Little League’s All Star Team. From L to R: (Back row) Jackson Wheeler, Kellen Kinney, Sanath Chari, James Ort III, Sule Tian, Eli Jones, Pryce Eadon. (Front row) JJ Hamiltion, Sawyer Todd, Ryder Oswalt, Walter Steinbok, Logan Rausch, Harrison Militello. Photo Courtesy of Jeff Steinbok.
Eastlake’s time at Little League World Series comes to an end

The boys of Eastlake Little League’s 12U all-star team’s time at the… Continue reading

A Decatur High School student in Federal Way participates in a conditioning workout in Feb. 2021 as the state eased back in to in-person activities. Olivia Sullivan/Sound Publishing
State announces mask requirements for student sports, performing arts

Athletes are not required to wear masks when participating in sports of any contact level while outside.

Teaser
Eastlake all-stars score spot in Little League World Series

Eastlake Little League’s 12U all star team was crowned Northwest Regional Champions… Continue reading

Screenshot of video obtained by Redmond police shows Richard Sherman trying to break into the Redmond home of his in-laws.
Former Seattle Seahawks player Richard Sherman charged with five misdemeanors in King County

Charges were filed following an incident at home of Sherman’s in-laws in Redmond.

Screenshot
Redmond Police arrest former Seattle Seahawk Richard Sherman

Redmond Police allege former Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman crashed into a… Continue reading

Snoqualmie Casino unveiled the first immersive Seahawks-branded table game experience Sept. 18, 2020, in a ribbon cutting dedication with Snoqualmie Tribe Council members and Snoqualmie Casino executives. Courtesy photo
Gambling Commission OKs pacts with tribes for sports betting

Agreements with 15 tribes await approval by the governor and the feds.

t
Issaquah notches girls soccer victory

Issaquah’s girls soccer team celebrates a goal during its 4-0 victory over… Continue reading

t
Registration open for Panthers Youth Rugby

By Sophie Demandolx Special to the Reporter If you are a teenager… Continue reading

Kentwood High football. FILE PHOTO
WIAA Executive Board revises Season 1 sports in response to state guidelines

Practices scheduled to begin Feb. 1 for football, volleyball, soccer and 5 other sports

The Mercer Island boys basketball celebrates their 61-36 victory over Interlake in the 3A KingCo championship game on Feb. 11, 2020, at Sammamish High School. File photo
WIAA pushes back return to play for prep sports

Season 2 now begins Feb. 1 and seasons have been shortened to seven weeks each.

In this file photo from March 2020, the Federal Way High School boys basketball team reacts in the final minutes of the state quarterfinals game against Mt. Si High School. File photo
New guidelines released for return of prep sports in WA

The new plan places counties and sports in three-tier systems. No signs of a quicker return to play.