Students Celebrate Their Biggest Fan

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A coach’s dream is a team that does good things on and off the field together.

On behalf of Leon Mosley, a dedicated fan and friend of the team, Radford University Softball Coach Maggie Johnson’s 2014 team came together in an impromptu act of student philanthropy. They raised the money to name a seat for Mosley at the RU Softball Stadium.

Located on the top row in what hard-core fans would call the “catbird seat” by the press box, Mosley’s seat is currently one of ten named for the team’s fans, alumni or family members.

“That is why we do what we do,” said Johnson. “Sure, we want to win games, but we are trying to send girls out into the world prepared to be successful and to contribute. The players’ effort on Leon’s behalf made me think they are on track and ready.”

Utility player Jessie Hutchens ’14, selected to the 2014 National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) Division I Mid-Atlantic All-Region team and the Big South All-Conference first team, was the catalyst to accord their No. 1 fan a place of honor.

“During my four years at RU, Leon has always been there for us. He is at every game, at practices and even helps by shagging balls during practice,” said Hutchens from her home in Berwyn, Illinois, where she is continuing her love of the game as a coach. “He always had a good word for me and was encouraging. I just had to give something back.”

Hutchens said it was a unanimous team decision to pitch in for Leon and raise $250 to name the seat. It all began when she and four teammates spent time in the Radford University Office of Advancement’s phone center for a phone-a-thon on behalf of the softball program. “It was a different level of excitement,” she said. “When somebody got a ‘Yes,’ we did high fives, then we started to compete with each other.”

The outreach paid off as they raised more than $1,000 from friends of the team, family and alumni.

But the way her teammates rallied on behalf of Leon is a singular memory for Hutchens. “We all love Leon and to know he will always have a place at the stadium is special,” she said.