A new scholarship for senior softball players in Butte has been announced by Mike and Stacy Bauer of Play2WIN.  Scholarship applications are available in the guidance counselor's office at either high school and must be postmarked by March 31.  Scholarship recipients will be announced May 6 during the Copper City Softball Opening Day Ceremony.

The following release is by Dave Dunmire:

Here in Butte, America we love our sports, especially our youth sports. I mean, if you are going to continue the tradition of “The City of Champions” you have to start from the ground and work your way up.  From YMCA basketball to Little Guy Football and Little League baseball sports have always been flagship programs for Butte’s youth. But for some reason, some years ago girls fast pitch softball had been somewhat pushed aside and for a lack of better term, forgotten about.

Enter Copper City Softball. In 2019 a group of enthusiastic board members that included Kate McGree, Amy Babb, Sarah Stepan, Luke Stajcar, Melissa Johnson, Kelci Thatcher, Amanda Badovinac and Craig Tippett took to the fields at Longfellow with some fresh new ideas to help the girls of Butte become more invested and excited in the game of softball. From their tie dye jerseys, and “wacky theme weeks” with girls roaming the outfield in tutu’s they had girls swarming the old, rundown softball complex. They truly made it “A League of Their Own". With upwards of 30 teams, girls ranging from four years old to 16 years old packed teams and rosters setting new records with every registration period. There’s power in numbers, and as it turns out some very good softball too. However the Ed and Helen Austin fields and the complex as a whole are a different story. Broken fences, rotted out bleachers, a nonexistent drainage system and infields that more resembled Harrison Avenue than a softball diamond caused concern, and eventually change for Copper City Softball. After the 2022 campaign, Copper City Softball launched their “Field of Dreams” campaign. Looking to raise money to improve the complex with a new drainage system, all new playing surfaces, new fencing, dugouts, backstops, concession stand and clubhouse along with new equipment, Copper City needed to raise money, and a lot of it.

Along with raising money for the league, Mike and Stacey Bauer came up with the idea to start a scholarship program. Their company, play2WIN tix, became a Grand Slam sponsor and funded the account initially and will coordinate different fundraising projects to fund the account going forward. This spring will be the 1st year the scholarship is awarded and it will range from $1,000 to $1,500, depending on how many seniors apply as either one or two seniors will be awarded the scholarship. The scholarship committee is comprised of four individuals who have ties to Copper City Softball;  Anthony Laslovich, Hattie Thatcher, Chrissy Donalson and Maria Robinson. They will select a player that best represents her team, league and community.

Bauer noted the future plan is to start more scholarships that go hand in hand with other youth sports programs in Butte. After all, “The City of Champions” has a reputation to live up to.

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