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Softball Player With Cerebral Palsy Epitomizes Love of the Game

"We just wanted to figure out a way for her to get around all the bases and give her a chance to have fun, get out there, swing it," he said.

Her grin is the first thing most people notice about Reese Ramirez. "When I met her, she was smiling ear to ear," Rudy Mendoza, Reese's softball coach, said. The 8-year-old is playing her first season at the Manchaca Optimist Youth Sports Complex, and she can't help but show her excitement.

The league has never had a player with cerebral palsy take the field before Reese, but leaders hope she's not the last child with special needs they can encourage to play the game they love. "It's not easy by any means, but that smile makes it all worth it," Sasha Akroosh-Ramirez, Reese's mom, said. Baseball is in their family's blood. After years of sitting in the stands with her daughter for her son's games, Akroosh-Ramirez asked the little league director if Reese could cheer on her friends' team from the dugout.

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