April 3, 2012
By Jonathan Schillace
The rubber match of the Florida State North Carolina series took on more meaning than just placement in the standings. The Seminoles paid tribute to the armed forces. Each player sported a branch of the military. And for players like Kirstin Austin whose entire family has been a part of the armed forces, this was a big day.
“It’s been a tradition on both sides of my family. I loved everything military but not really cut out for it I don’t think, but we’re trying to represent it well tonight.” says Kirstin Austin.
And represent they did. From the jerseys to donation buckets the Seminoles swung towards helping out with the wounded warrior project. And it’s games like this that show that it’s not just what happens on the field that matters.
“We are focused on things outside of softball,” Kelly Hensley says, ” We realize there are bigger things than us going on and we just wanted to do any little thing that we can.”
And what they did extends father than just Tallahassee. For Veterans like Kely’s father Daniel Hensley, who retired after serving 21years with the air force, this night means more than anyone could imagine.
“It means a ton,” says Daniel Hensley, “the moral and the message that it sends the troops and everything, it pays huge dividends. To see an institute like Florida State stand up and do something like this it means a lot to our troops across the nation.”
And it also meant so much to Austin. This was a night to show her dad how much he has means to her.
“When we heard that we were getting jerseys with each branch of the military on there I made sure to get Navy just to represent my dad. I was really excited, it’s a little piece that I can give back to him for everything he has done for me.”