Softball was one of Ariel Lichtenberger’s passions. Now, her friends and former teammates are hoping softball can help raise money to honor the former Alice Lady Coyote great with a scholarship in her memory.

The Knock Cancer Out of the Park softball tournament is Saturday and Sunday at Anderson Park in Alice. As of Monday, the tournament had a field of 13 teams, and it's still open for more teams.

All proceeds from the tournament will go to the creation of a fund for the scholarship. Organizers Janay Gonzalez and Alyssa Ordonez said the plan is to have a scholarship in place in time to award one an Alice High School student next May. The criteria for the scholarship is still being worked on.

To help raise money at this weekend’s tournament, vendors will be selling pulled pork and brisket sandwiches and plates through Saturday.

The tournament was created two years ago to help the Lichtenberger family pay for medical expenses. Gonzalez and Ordonez decided to continue the tournament for a scholarship.

More fundraiser are planned for next year like Alice alumni basketball and softball games.

Lichtenberger died in April after nearly two years after being diagnosed with a form of brain cancer. She was working full-time at FESCO and planning her wedding at the time she began having headaches and the cancer was discovered.

To those who knew her, she’ll be remembered as a great friend, a generous soul and a tremendous athlete.

Lichtenberger was one of the best female athletes to come out of Alice High School. By the time she left Alice High School, Lichtenberger had more than made her mark on the Lady Coyote athletic program. In fact, she was the basketball and softball team MVP every year that she played.

As a junior, she helped the Lady Coyotes to the 2005 Region IV basketball tournament at the University of St. Mary’s in San Antonio.

In softball, Ariel led the Lady Coyotes in batting in each season that she played. She was then one of the first girls from the program to play college softball.

Lichtenberger “walked on” to the Texas A&M University-Kingsville softball team as a freshman. Like she did in Alice, she quickly settled in and became a cornerstone of the program. She started in a handful of games in different roles as a freshman in 2007 and then had a break-out season in 2008 starting at first base in 55 of the team’s 56 games. In 2009, she was back at shortstop and earned Lone Star Conference honors. She was among the team’s top hitters that season with a .306 batting average. Lichtenberger finished out her college career playing shortstop for the Javelinas. As a senior, she again won All-Lone Star Conference honors. She hit .281 with 10 doubles, seven homers and a .541 slugging percentage. She set a school record earlier in the season when she hit a home run in five consecutive games.

Alice High School honored Lichtenberger by inducting her to the Alice Coyote Athletic Hall of Honor in 2016.

For information on the tournament, call Alyssa Ordonez at (361) 227-0109 or Janay Gonzalez at (361) 701-8153.