Rangers' Honorary Bat Girl draws strength from baseball

Ashenfelter diagnosed with breast cancer in 2011

TORONTO -- Ronda Ashenfelter has been named the winner of the 2016 Honorary Bat Girl Contest for the Texas Rangers. The contest recognizes baseball fans who have been affected by breast cancer, and who demonstrate a commitment to supporting the fight against the disease.

Ashenfelter was diagnosed with Stage IV breast cancer in September 2011. Baseball has been Ashenfelter's release, and her husband, Channing, purchased season tickets last season so that the two of them could enjoy every Rangers home game. Throughout the process, Ashenfelter has been reminded of the various life lessons that come with the game, including getting back up and moving forward.

"Life is full of curveballs and mine is Stage IV breast cancer," she said. "With each game, my passion for watching baseball grew as did my strength to fight and kick my cancer's butt. I have become the biggest baseball fan out there gaining courage and strength as I watched it unfold on the diamond."

Introduced in 2009, the Honorary Bat Girl program raises additional awareness and support for the annual "Going to Bat Against Breast Cancer" initiative celebrated on Mother's Day.

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.

Alykhan Ravjiani is a reporter for MLB.com and covered the Rangers on Tuesday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.