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May is Mental Health Awareness Month!

ASU softball team holds special signing day for 8-year-old girl

The Alabama State Lady Hornets softball team signed a special player to their roster Friday.

8-year-old Violet Monson was diagnosed with Rett syndrome, a genetic mutation that affects brain development in girls, which inhibits her ability to speak and use her hands.

Mandy Monson, Violet’s mother, said the team welcomed her with open arms.

“Violet has never really had the opportunity to participate on a competitive sports team, and so we were thrilled for her to have this opportunity,” Monson said.

The 8-year-old matched with ASU through Team Impact, an organization that places special needs children on college sports teams.

“It just gives Violet a chance for a little bit of normalcy,” said ASU softball head coach Todd Bradley. “Those things are so important in her development and in her future as she moves forward.”

Violet will be able to sit in the dugout with the softball team during home games.

Derik is the newest addition to the Award-Winning WVAS News Team. He is a graduate of the University of Alabama and got his start in media in Atlanta as a co-host and analyst on a sports talk radio show. Since being with WVAS Derik has been awarded the Alabama Broadcasters Association Award for 2019 Best in Broadcasting Medium Market Reporter and 2nd place Associated Press Award for Best General Sports Report. His goal is to continue to grow as a sports and news journalist as well as a producer.