'Our Angel in the Outfield' Kelly Laas

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Kelly Laas

Kelly Laas 11, played right field for the Husky softball team.

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A banner hangs over the right field fence of the Husky softball diamond at Selke Field. It reads "Our Angel in the Outfield." It honors the late senior right fielder Kelly Laas '11 who died March 2 in her home in Frankfort, Ill, following a year-long battle with ovarian cancer.

Laas began her softball career at St. Cloud State in 2008 and was an elementary education major. She posted a career .345 batting average and collected 123 hits in 116 games played in the Cardinal and Black.

"Kelly (Laas) truly touched many people's lives with her love for life and passion for the game of softball," said St. Cloud State head softball coach Paula U'Ren. "We will miss Kelly, her enthusiasm for life and her #9 on the softball field."

A memorial service for Kelly was held on Friday, April 22, at Newman Center on the edge of campus. Nearly 200 people gathered to celebrate Kelly's life.

"She (Laas) battled until the end," added U'Ren. "Her courage and strength were an inspiration and taught us all how precious each moment of life is. Kelly's beaming personality lit up a room and we are blessed to have her family (Mike, Denise, and Lindsey) as a part of our Husky program."

St. Cloud State University President Earl H. Potter III attended the memorial and delivered a heart-felt speech to the Laas family. The president reflected on Kelly's optimism and resilience, her loyalty and passion for her team, her studies, her friends and family.

Following his meaningful message, Potter presented the Laas family with Kelly's diploma.

With heavy hearts, the Husky softball program has promoted ovarian cancer awareness and raised nearly $3,000 in the past year with all proceeds going to the American Cancer Society in Kelly Laas' name.

Visitors to Selke Field will forever see Kelly Laas as "Our Angel in the Outfield."

- STORY BY Celestine Frank Stang '03 '05

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