SIOUX FALLS, S.D.-The short life of a Sioux Falls girl was honored Wednesday evening on the softball diamond at Burnside Park.
Mali Farmer’s friends, family, and teammates all gathered to release balloons and dedicate their first game of the season to her.
“She was our family and one day she was just gone. So it’s a lot for us to just get out here and play for the first time without her,” said teammate Kiah Currey-Foster.
In early April, Mali Farmer took her own life.
“So we wanted to take tonight, on their first game just to honor her, and have her memory live on,” said Stacy Bautista Secretary and Treasurer of the Sioux Falls Youth Slowpitch Softball Association.
Before the bats went swinging, every player on the Under 16 and Under 18 teams received a bracelet with Mali’s name and number on it.
Her parents also took the field to be embraced by every single one of her teammates.
“She was the best kind of person,” said Currey-Foster. “She could always make us smile she was never really sad or anything, around us at least and she could just lighten our mood in less than two minutes she was just that type of person.”
While their jerseys may have different colors and different names, the organizers of YSSA say every girl in the league is on the same team, and a part of the same family.
“We’ve tried to provide support to the girls as they need it, to the coaches, parents, we’ve offered whatever they need, that we’re here for them. We just want them to know that they’re not alone. Even though some kids can’t talk to their parents, there are board members and other coaches, we can help try to address any issues,” said Oscar Bautista, President of YSSA.
Now with every swing they take, especially for the Edge, they do so with Mali in mind.