Ashford University Softball Team Holds Awareness Day for Breast Cancer

Ashford University softball team raises more than $1,350 for cancer research

For the second consecutive season, the Ashford University softball team hosted its Breast Cancer Awareness Day on Saturday, March 24 when the Trojans of Hannibal-LaGrange University visited River Queen Field in Clinton. 

Gorgeous March weather greeted a large turnout for the Saints, who used a pair of come-from-behind victories to sweep a doubleheader. 

However, as Saints head coach Kevin Jannusch explained, picking up a pair of victories was only a small part of what made the entire day a complete success. 

“Obviously we were happy to have a great day on the field,” Jannusch said, “but raising

awareness and money for a cause that is personal for so many people in the community, including our softball team, is just as important. It’s just a very nice feeling.” 

As in last season’s rendition, the team hosted a silent auction with the proceeds benefitting the Iowa Care for Yourself Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program which is coordinated by the Clinton County Breast and Cervical Cancer (BCC) Program and Genesis Visiting Nurse Association (VNA). Donations and support from around the community and through Ashford University raised more than $1,350, nearly doubling last year’s total. 

In addition, the event featured a memorial balloon release and a booth that gave out information on breast and cervical cancer. Both teams participated in the balloon release while posing for a group photograph between games. 

“We were looking for something that would celebrate the lives of loved ones who were affected by not just breast cancer, but all types,” Jannusch said. “Our event committee came up with a great idea to release balloons as a memorial tribute as well as for those who were survivors. It was special to see the Hannibal-LaGrange players take part in the tribute. There were at least 100 balloons in the air. I think everyone was surprised by how touching the moment was. I know I was.” 

Also on hand throughout the day were Dona Bark, program director of the Clinton Country BCC, and Suzy Klinck, a breast cancer survivor. Both tossed out the first pitch prior to the start of the doubleheader and provided additional information to spectators and players. 

“It was the first time I’ve ever thrown out the first pitch,” Bark said. “I’m just happy I got it over the plate.” 

“After I went back to the office, I thought that it was probably the best event I’d ever been to for breast cancer awareness,” she said. “There was a great crowd, everyone was dressed in pink and was involved in not only the softball games, but the other events going on as well. It was a very well planned and well organized event and I was thrilled to be a part of it.” 

Keeping with the theme of the day, Ashford never gave up in a pair of close contests. The Saints plated three runs in the bottom of the seventh inning of game one to complete the walk-off victory, 3-2. Then in game two, the hosts once again made a last inning charge, scoring a run in the bottom of the seventh to break a 3-3 deadlock. 

“I can’t say that winning the games weren’t important to our team.” said Jannusch. “But there are many times in life where doing work for others is far more important than winning softball games.” 

About Ashford University

Ashford University is defining the modern college experience by combining the heritage of a traditional campus with the flexibility and effectiveness of online learning. The University provides a vibrant learning community where high-quality programs and leading-edge technology create a dynamic, immersive and stimulating learning experience. Ashford University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association ( The University offers practical and progressive associate's, bachelor's and master's degree programs online, as well as bachelor’s degree programs at its Clinton, Iowa, campus. Ashford University – where heritage meets innovation. For more information, please visit or call Shari Rodriguez, associate vice president of Public Relations, at 858.513.9240 x2513.