Cancer survivor named D-backs' honorary bat girl

LOS ANGELES -- The D-backs will have a special honorary bat girl for Sunday afternoon's game against the Phillies at Chase Field.

Tracie Stratton will fill that role after winning the 2013 Honorary Bat Girl Contest that recognizes baseball fans who have been affected by breast cancer and demonstrate a commitment to eradicating the disease.

One winner was selected for each team and honorary bat girls will take part in pregame activities, be honored during an on-field ceremony and will receive pink MLB merchandise and two tickets to the game.

Stratton, 36, was diagnosed with breast cancer three years ago. The single mother of three boys ages 12, 16 and 18 has battled the disease since then. The cancer spread to her spine and brain, and although doctors thought she would not make it past four weeks last September she is still fighting.

A loyal D-backs fan, Stratton's strong will to live is born of her desire to see her boys grow into men.

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 four years, over 4,000 testimonials have been submitted and more than 10 million fan votes have been cast. Going to Bat Against Breast Cancer is a Major League Baseball initiative supported by its charitable partners Stand Up to Cancer, a charitable program of the Entertainment Industry Foundation, and Susan G. Komen for the Cure. This initiative has set out to raise awareness about the breast cancer cause and funds to support life saving breast cancer research.

Steve Gilbert is a reporter for Read his blog, Inside the D-backs, and follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.