OKLAHOMA CITY –– In response to the devastating death of Jasmine Melendez (Midland, TX), a 15-year-old Midland High School student-athlete, the Texas softball community rallied together in honor of the star athlete and in support of her family.
Melendez was passionate about softball and was a member of the Midland High School softball team as well as the Midland United Girls Softball Association (MUGS), a USA Softball of Texas registered league. She was well known at the MUGS Complex where she spent many of her weekends on the field, including the weekend before her passing where she sent two balls over the fence at the Fall Classic Softball Tournament.
“Jasmine grew up playing at the MUGS Complex and had a lot of good moments on those fields,” said MUGS President and USA Softball of Texas Deputy JO Commissioner, Rick Maddox. “Though I didn’t know her personally, I always heard great things not only about her talent on the field but also her character off the field.”
Following her death, USA Softball of Texas and MUGS joined forces and hosted the Midland United Girls’ Softball Thanksgiving Brawl. Featuring a morning and afternoon clinic with Women’s National Team Members, Cat Osterman and Valerie Arioto, all proceeds from the Thanksgiving Brawl were donated to the Melendez family in honor of Jasmine. The tournament quickly reached max capacity and generated a total of $9,920 in addition to $1,500 that was donated by the USA Softball of Texas umpires who worked the tournament.
“This is what USA Softball is all about,” said USA Softball of Texas JO Commissioner, Scott Stone. “For all of us to come together from an Olympian status to the local league status in an effort to honor and support a member of our softball community …and to see things like our umpires give up their pay for the tournament in order to support the Melendez family – It was just really special to see.”
In addition to the MUGS Thanksgiving Brawl, the MUGS Complex also hosted a Ragball Fundraiser Tournament and held a moment of silence in honor of Jasmine during league games that were held on Oct. 22. Multiple fundraisers were also organized in support of the Melendez family including two GoFundMe accounts that were set up by the Midland High School softball team. The first account was set up in support of the family’s medical and funeral expenses and the second was to create a scholarship account in honor of the hard work and dedication Jasmine had given to the program.
“It was a great thing to see the effort put into honoring Jasmine and supporting her family,” said Maddox. “If something happens to anyone in the softball community, I think it’s safe to say that the whole softball family will come together and try to help out as much as we can.”