Springfield College softball team welcomes 12-year-old honorary member

Although Soto cannot play, she will play a major role

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The Springfield College softball team welcomed an honorary member Tuesday night.

Teammates cheered as they welcomed 12-year-old Talia Soto to the Springfield College softball team Tuesday.

“We’re looking forward just to support her, she’s been through a really tough time,” said Alana Bucker, Soto’s mother.

Soto was diagnosed with cancer a year ago. With help from Team Impact, a national nonprofit that connects children facing serious illness with college athletes, Soto will be able to put aside her everyday worries, and focus on being part of a team.

“I get to be part of a team that truly cares about me,” Soto told 22News.

“I’m just so excited, I think everything that they’re doing is really wonderful for my daughter,” Bucker said.

Although Soto cannot play, she will play a major role attending pride practices, games, and team dinners.

“I think it’s going to be really important for us so we know we are playing for something bigger than just ourselves, we’re playing for Talia,” said Talia Loda, a Springfield College senior told 22News.

Throughout her journey, Soto will gain strength and support, while her teammates experience lessons of courage they wouldn’t learn in a classroom.