INDEPENDENCE, Mo. -- A metro softball team is making a big statement, hoping to save the lives those throwing and catching the ball. The Pittsville, Mo., softball team has dedicated their entire season to two girls who recently took their own lives. The team, 3N2 Force, is hosting a softball tournament and with each hit, trying to put an end to bullying.
Statistics show for every five girls at the tournament, two of them have thought about taking their own life. It's a staggering number that one team is hoping to change in their own special way.
With every flick of the wrist, and catch in the mitt, there is a message to back it up.
"Hopefully if there is a kid out here who needs help, they're gonna see what we're doing, and see that there are people out there who care," coach Craig Chamberlain said.
Chamberlain started the movement with his team, after hearing news about a 12-year-old Ohio girl taking her own life.
"This all got started with Bethany," the coach said.
He was moved by her story and now her name and memory is a part of every single game. Now this tournament is about spreading awareness for other girls just like her.
"Bethany was a remarkable young girl. She changed my life forever. She changed the lives of the girls forever," Chamberlain said.
He and his girls got to meet Bethany's dad; a small gesture making a big impact on this father.
"I'm speechless, I'm overwhelmed," Bethany's dad Paul Thompson said.
They're hoping more impacts will be made on girls, who are facing more than others might know. For the girl who started it all, sits an empty place in the dugout, next to a team that will never forget her.
"In our minds she's there. So that's her spot," Chamberlain said.
Money raised through the tournament will be going to an organization called "I Am Bully Free." For more information, click on this link.