City Of Hope Celebrity Softball Game Hits Close to Home For Lauren Alaina, Jackie Lee

In a battle for the ages, many of country music’s brightest acts faced off during this year’s 28th annual City of Hope Celebrity Softball Game. Hoping to help strike out cancer, the game raises funds for the cancer treatment and research center.

This year, the message of hope felt a little more personal for players Lauren Alaina and Jackie Lee. Both have been touched closely by cancer and hope that the cure is not far away.

Lauren Alaina Bobby Bones

NASHVILLE, TN – JUNE 09: Lauren Alaina and Bobby Bones participate in 28th Annual City of Hope Celebrity Softball Game on June 9, 2018 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images for City Of Hope)

“A cancer survivor, you know, myself. Strike out cancer, it’s obviously very close to me and something I’m very passionate about. And then on top of that, getting to be here with fans country music and friends of country music, it’s really cool. We’re coming together for the same thing and it’s great,” Lee told Sounds Like Nashville before the first pitch.

“This year, I’m playing for my stepdad,” explained Alaina. “We found out a couple months ago that he has cancer and so we’re right in the middle of the battle. I now know what it feels like to witness that and it’s scary and the worst, so I’m proud to be here.”

NASHVILLE, TN – JUNE 09: Team Grand Ole Opry and iHeart Radio pose for a photo before at the 28th Annual City of Hope Celebrity Softball Game on June 9, 2018 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images for City Of Hope)

While the topic of saving lives was on the forefront, it didn’t stop the stars from having a lot of fun on the field and bring out their competitive sides. It was football player Jay Cutler who led the Grand Ole Opry team to victory over Team iHeart in a final score of 6-5 in extra innings.

Fans also witnessed City of Hope patient and acute myeloid leukemia survivor Brian Lambert meet his life-saving donor in person for the first time. Lambert is a Nashville native and a well-known executive of Warner Music. The “meeting at the mound” moment was so inspiring that nearly 50 fans signed up to be potential bone marrow donors with Be The Match.