FAU softball played a charity game Sunday against active duty United States Marines from the Anglico Marine Unit, stationed in West Palm Beach. This game was organized by Assistant FAU softball coach Shane Walker and Semper Fi Fund volunteer fundraiser and retired Marine Sgt. Frank D’Amato.
“This is the first time in history that the Marines have played a softball team for charity,” D’Amato said. “I have already talked to FAU coaches about scheduling a rematch in September.”
The softball charity game cost $5, and every dollar collected went toward the Semper Fi Fund.
The “friendly” charity game turned competitive as the Marines tied up the game 3-3 heading into the final inning of play. However, in the end, it was the FAU softball team that would pull ahead in the bottom of the seventh (the final inning of play in softball, as opposed to a traditional nine in baseball), scoring on a walk-off single to defeat the Marine regiment from Anglico by a final score of 4-3.
This was the second game that the FAU Softball team played on Sunday, the team had played Troy State earlier in the day.
Marine Lt. Col.Aaron Marx, who has been an active-duty marine for 18 years, played left field in the game. He commented on the experience of the charity softball game saying, “I am really enjoying it, the game is really energetic, and the FAU softball team is really good. I have never played in a fast pitch softball game before in my life.”
When asked about his experience with the Semper Fi Fund Marx said, “when you have been in the Marine Corps as long as I have, you meet a lot of Marines who have become injured, and they have been helped by the Semper Fi Fund. I have seen first-hand where the money goes from the fund, and the help it affords Marines who have been injured. The positive impact the fund has is absolutely incredible, this charity is real, and the millions of dollars they raise go back directly back to Marines who have been injured in the field.”
Samantha Messer, freshman pitcher for the FAU softball team, participated in the event as the pitcher for the Marines. When asked how she felt pitching for the Marines against her team for charity she responded, “It was a lot of fun, I am glad we got the opportunity to participate in this fundraiser. It was the first time that I have been involved with the team, and a charity event. The game seemed like a typical day of practice pitching against my team. I loved meeting all the Marines.”