AMERICUS, Ga. (WALB) - A 670-piece popsicle stick replica of the Georgia Southwestern softball field.
It’s a gift that captivates a years-long friendship between the Canes and one honorary member of the team.
Senior first baseman, Lauren Kuerzi and Becca Burnette have been like-family for years.
Becca was born with down syndrome.
The two met through a softball skills event for the Special Olympics several years ago.
Their mutual love for the game is what keeps them connected.
“I like Lauren’s hit,” said Becca.
So, the reason Becca gifted Kuerzi with this replica of the Canes softball field is really quite simple.
“Because I love her,” said Becca.
“It really showed me how much she loved me and being out here. This is like our biggest thing in common. So, for her to put that and ball together, knowing how much that means to me, meant a lot to me,” said Kuerzi.
Kuerzi’s sophomore year, Becca got her own Canes softball jersey, officially becoming an honorary member of the team.
“It was a big surprise. And at that moment, for her, it was like she was a part of the team, like at that point. She wanted to go see the girls, she wanted to take pictures,” said Kuerzi. “She wears it to the games. She wears our normal t-shirts to work. Everywhere she goes she’s like, ‘Canes Baby and I love the girly girls.’”
Over the years Becca has become an invaluable part of their team.
During that time - Kuerzi tells me they've learned more from Becca... than Becca could ever learn from them.
“It just shows that we don’t want to take anything for granted. It shows us that people want to be out here but don’t necessarily have the ability too. She wishes she could be out here, she says she’s a part of the team. She doesn’t have the ability to be out here and so we want to do it for her,” said Kuerzi.
Kuerzi says you'll always find Becca chanting her favorite cheer.
Becca cheered: “My favorite is, ‘Canes Baby!’”
The Canes are still looking for a place to house this special gift.