Melissa Rupert from Liberty Township has been named the Reds 'Honorary Bat Girl' and will be honored on May 11 at GABP

CINCINNATI (May 4, 2015) - Major League Baseball has announced the winners of the 2015 Honorary Bat Girl contest, which recognizes baseball fans who have been affected by breast cancer and who demonstrate a commitment to eradicating the disease.

The Honorary Bat Girl for the Cincinnati Reds is Melissa Rupert from Liberty Township, Ohio.

Melissa will be recognized during on-field pregame ceremonies on Monday, May 11 (Reds vs. Atlanta Braves, 7:10 p.m.) at Great American Ball Park.

She will receive complimentary game tickets for her family, a commemorative Reds jersey, an engraved full-size pink bat from Louisville Slugger and pink wrist bands.

Here is an excerpt from her winning submission to

"I'll never forget how I felt when I found the 'lump' in my right breast. After being told that I have Stage 1 triple negative breast cancer, I remind myself every day that I am not a statistic. I am me. My outcome will be my outcome. My story is mine and I am not a number. So here I am. A new mom, a business owner and an avid volunteer. I don't have time to think about the 'what if's.' There is no alternative. I'm in it to win it. I had my first round of chemotherapy a couple of weeks ago. When I started losing my hair, I picked up the razor and shaved. And every day, I hold my baby boy as tightly as he'll let me and remind myself that he is my rock and my joy."

The Honorary Bat Girl program was introduced in 2009 to raise additional awareness and support for the annual "Going to Bat Against Breast Cancer" initiative celebrated on Mother's Day. In seven years, thousands of unique testimonials have been submitted and more than 2 million fan votes have been cast. Going to Bat Against Breast Cancer is a Major League Baseball initiative supported by MLB charitable partners, Stand Up To Cancer and Susan G. Komen. This initiative raises awareness about the breast cancer cause, while also raising funds to support breast cancer research.

On Mother's Day, players and on-field personnel will wear the symbolic pink ribbon on their uniforms along with pink wrist bands. Commemorative base jewels and dugout lineup cards also will be pink. Games will feature a pink-stitched Rawlings baseball, the official ball of MLB, as the official game ball. Many MLB players also will use pink bats, and pink Louisville Slugger bats, the Official Bat of Major League Baseball, will be stamped with the MLB breast cancer awareness logo. Many authenticated, game-used Louisville Slugger pink bats from Mother's Day games will be auctioned exclusively on to benefit the fight against breast cancer.