FORNEY, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – The focus of Forney softball team is undeniable. The Jackrabbits are riding a 23-game winning streak into the state tournament this weekend in Austin.
“We don’t talk about the streak.” Head Coach Pat Eitel admitted. “We know we just want to win every game.”
While the team is keeping quiet about the winning streak, the Jackrabbits are very vocal about their inspiration.
They’re playing for Emily — their “angel above”
Emily Galiano, a member of the Forney Softball team, was killed in a car accident leaving a team dinner last year.
This season, the Forney players are wearing a wristband inscribed with “Play for Em,” as both a tribute and a reminder of the teammate they lost in the tragic accident.
“It’s just a reminder to know who we are doing this for, and who we are playing for,” said left fielder Caroline Tedder, describing the wristbands.
Pitcher Savanna Desrochers added, “Our season is dedicated to her. I mean from here on out, it’s all for her.”
“We know she is always looking down on us,” said catcher Brittany Lee, describing her feelings when she takes the field.
Another way that Emily is being remembered is through the Play For Em Foundation. It’s a charitable foundation focused on helping make the world a better, happier place — just like the young lady it’s named for.
“She was a caring sole,” said infielder Tatum Stover
This season, the Forney Softball team held a fundraiser for the Foundation, raising $6,000.
The Jackrabbits have also retired Emily’s number-six jersey.
Emily’s twin sister Madison is a sophomore on the Jackrabbits team.
For Madison, both the memory of Emily, and those who promise never to forget her is something that warms her heart.
“It means a lot to me. My sister was my best friend,” said Madison. “For them to step up and become like my second sisters, it’s helped a lot.”