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Pitching in to fight cancer in Saratoga Springs

"It's a great cause. The guys try to raise money for it, and I think it's good because we're here; it's a top-of-the-line reason," Prado said. "Jockeys always take the time to help people that are in need; it's very important."

Prado gained fame outside the sports world after he rode Barbaro to a commanding victory in the 2006 Kentucky Derby. Barbaro was injured in the Preakness, and was euthanized earlier this year.

Col. Deborah Campbell, who hit lead-off for the troopers, has been with the state police for 24 years and is the highest ranking female trooper in the state.

"One thing that the state police is all about is service to the community.

Besides police work, this is a way to give to the community, so it means a lot," Campbell said. "It's a great event. It's always a close game."

Hoch family friend Fran Godgart won the event's 50-50 raffle, which was $268. In what has come to characterize the grassroots charity, Godgart donated $200 of her winnings back to the foundation.

Ashley Clemens, 17, was a good friend of Catie's. Clemens volunteered at this year's softball game, and runs in the group's annual "Catiebug Run."

"For me to finish a race for her, even if it might be hard, it makes me think of how much she went through. All the people that are there, supporting all the pain she must have gone through makes me feel good," Clemens said after the event. "It's hard for me at the events; it brings memories of Catie back."

Peca said that Catie was a big baseball fan and would have loved the softball game.

She recalled a time when the family was in New York City for Catie's treatment and were at the Ronald McDonald house. The staff there told Catie they needed someone to throw out the first pitch at a Mets game and ring the stock exchange bell that day.

"She goes, 'No thanks, I'm a Yankees fan,'" Peca said. "I'm like, 'Honey, this is a national game'. [Catie replied,] 'I'm a Yankees fan mom; I'm not going to throw out the first pitch at a Mets game.'"

The Catie Hoch Foundation is auctioning off a full set of the "Harry Potter" books, signed by author J.K. Rowling. Bidding starts later this month. For information, visit the auction's Web site at www.whenharrymetcatie.com or call 877-7539.

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