Lauren Alaina, along with dozens of other country stars, stepped up to the plate to "strike out cancer" at the 28th annual City of Hope Celebrity Softball Game that took place during CMA Fest 2018 on Saturday (June 9). This year, many celebrities were there for very personal reasons, including Alaina, whose stepfather was recently diagnosed with cancer.

“This year, I’m playing for my stepdad,” Alaina told Sounds Like Nashville. “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.”

The game raises money for the City of Hope cancer treatment and research center. Center patient and acute myeloid leukemia survivor, Brian Lambert had the chance to meet his life-saving donor in person for the first time. Lambert is from Nashville and works as a well-known executive of Warner Music. Nearly 50 fans signed up to be potential bone marrow donors during the moving “meeting at the mound” moment.

Cancer survivor Jackie Lee was on hand to play, along with Smithfield, Bobby Bones, Tegan Marie and many more. Bones told SLN that preventing injury was at the top of his goals for the day.

"I have to goals: One, to win, and One-A, to not get hurt ... because there have been some brutal injuries in the last couple years. This is my sixth year to play the game. Billy Ray basically tore off a butt cheek!" Bones says of previous games.

Alaina says that she had to set certain ground rules to avoid injury.

"No sliding, I am gonna ask that I can just bunt the ball so I can get out every time... I already have some battle scars from where I played on the road with Aldean's crew. They play softball and I slid and got out, so I think I learned my lesson," Alaina jokes.

Country Artists Who Stand Up Against Cancer

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