Field of Teal raises money and awareness for ovarian cancer

PELHAM – Pelham High School’s fifth Field of Teal baseball tournament to strike out cancer raised about $1,000 for the Laura Crandall Brown Foundation on Monday, Feb. 18.

But Tammy Anderson, event organizer and ovarian cancer survivor, said the tournament was more about educating the public about ovarian cancer and supporting the mission of the nonprofit Laura Crandall Brown Foundation, which consists of helping survivors and those currently battling cancer, remembering those who have died from cancer, fundraising for research and raising awareness. Throughout the games, educational pamphlets and symptom trackers were given to those in attendance.

The Field of Teal baseball tournament has become an annual event at PHS since Tammy Anderson, head baseball coach Sean Anderson’s wife, was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. The first tournament took place in 2015 and was the idea of then-head coach Jeff Mauldin, who is now the head coach of the Hewitt-Trussville team. Now, Tammy and Sean Anderson keep the fundraiser going and the money goes to the LCBF.

Gates opened at 9 a.m. and the first pitch took place at 9:45 a.m. The first game was between PHS and Chilton County High School at 10 a.m. Three additional games took place after that. Chilton County played Hewitt-Trussville at about 12:30 p.m., Hewitt-Trussville played Pell City at about 3 p.m. and PHS played Pell City around 5:30 p.m.

Before each game was played, a first pitch was thrown. The first pitch for game one, which was dedicated to memory of the lives lost to ovarian cancer, was thrown by Will and Bella Bourland, the children of Ginny and Shea Bourland. Ginny died from ovarian cancer in 2017. She was diagnosed in 2011 when Bella was 2 and a half years old and Will was 5. Shea Bourland said he and his children have attended every Field of Teal tournament.

“We love supporting the Laura Crandall Brown Foundation,” he said. “Ginny never wanted to be an advocate, but when the opportunity came she took on that role and we’re continuing to follow in her footsteps.”

The Bourlands founded the Get Busy Fighting golf tournament that takes place every year on the first Friday in November.

“We just completed our fifth year with the golf tournament and it raised close to $150,000 for the foundation,” Bourland said. “We will continue supporting these events because watching these women fight and go through it while continuing to live their lives daily without letting it kill their spirit is amazing. And then they go on to be advocates.”

In game one, the Panthers lost to Chilton County High School 3-0. Cody Ferguson took the loss going 4 and 2/3 innings. Ferguson gave up five hits, three unearned runs and struck out three. Kasey Clark had a double while Carter Reid and Adam Camlic each added a single.

The second game, where Hewitt-Trussville defeated Chilton County 6-0, was dedicated to the LCBF and its 3-part mission – awareness, research and support. Jim and Cecilia Crandall, the parents of Laura Crandall Brown who died at 25 after an 18-month battle with ovarian cancer, threw the first pitch for the second game. Laura’s desire to help others in her situation is what inspired her family to create the LCBF.

During that game, Tyler Mauldin pitched a shutout. Chilton County only got two hits in the game. At the plate, Mauldin had two hits including a double, and he drove on two runs. Michael Fowler and Zach Defnall each had two hits and an RBI. Jacob Bishop also had two hits.

Before the start of the third game, Mauldin, his wife Chrissy, and Hewitt-Trussville assistant coach Jeff Schrupp and his wife Kelly, took to the mound to explain how Field of Teal got its start. Mauldin and Schrupp started the game by throwing the first pitches.

In the matchup, Hewitt-Trussville took down Pell City 14-2. Fowler picked up the win as he pitched 4 and 2/3 innings. He struck out 12 Pell City batters. Fowler also did damage at the plate with two hits and an RBI. Kerrigan Edmonson had three hits and five RBIs. Bishop had two hits and an RBI, Keith Lanum had two RBIs and Mauldin had two hits.

For the last game, survivors Cheryl Bourn, Cecile Baker and Stephanie Donze took to the field as baseball players from various schools held up signs spelling ‘survivors’ and ‘CanSurvive.’ Tammy Anderson threw out the first pitch for that game.

In the last game of the night, PHS against Pell City, the Panthers regained momentum and defeated Pell City 4-1. Kasey Clark picked up the win tossing five innings, striking out six and allowing one earned run. Carter Reid pitched the last two innings and struck out two for the save. Clark led all hitters going two for two with two doubles, a walk and an RBI. Matthew Rye and Cody Ferguson each had an RBI single and Philip Duke and Adam Camlic each had a hit.

Today, Tammy Anderson has been cancer-free for four and a half years. In March, she was selected as the Survivor Honoree at the LCBF’s Taste of Teal Gala. Highlighted were her efforts to educate others about gynecologic cancers, to fundraise for the LCBF and cancer research and recruit others to help fundraise. She has been an active member of the CanSurvive support group, encouraging and giving back to other women who are going through a similar journey.