Girls from the USA Softball National Team played a doubleheader July 3 at Hawley Field. But that wasn't the only reason for their visit. They hosted a softball clinic for 150 girls ages six to 16.
One of the 150 clinic participants was Hannah Roberts, 13, from North Carolina, who is one of the youngest women to be diagnosed with breast cancer. She's still going through medical procedures but because of Jackie Traina, the stand out on the USA National Team, Roberts made it to Morgantown.
When asked what brought her to Morgantown, Roberts answer was simple. "Jackie, she told me everything. She was like, 'We're having a clinic in Morgantown so you can come down here and see me again.'"
Roberts isn't the only out of state visitor for the softball festivities. The team is from all over the country and girls came from New York, PA and further for the clinic. All of whom enjoyed their time spent here.
"Take a look around it's beautiful country right here," said Ken Eriksen, the Head Coach of the USA National Team. "I've done some clinics in West Virginia before and the people here have always been fantastic and very welcoming."
The clinic was set up by the Greater Morgantown CVB to bring awareness to softball, but that's not the only benefit. The out-of-state visitors bring a lot of revenue to the area.
"A lot of parents coming in spending the night so they'll go to the hotels rooms," said Dave Plevich, Sports Events Manager for the Great Morgantown CVB. "They'll go to a lot of the restaurants in the area. These girls are going to go shopping, and go to the malls. It's tax revenue generating, when they fill up their gas tanks and they do everything. Everybody wins economically."
For Hannah, the trip gave her a break from her illness and every day struggles.
"I went to the Hovatter's Zoo and did everything I wanted to, felt like I needed to do," said Roberts. "I get to eat lunch with the girls and then I get to come to the game free. I feel laid back and like a princess now."
"No matter what the star power is, they love this game," Eriksen said. "That's a passion and so for all the young girls out there follow your passion."
Roberts was able to enjoy the game from the stands.