GREAT FALLS — Dozens of softball players descended on Great Falls over the weekend for the Falls Fusion Classic Fast Pitch 2021 softball tournament, but 13-year old Addison Benson from Laurel is unique, and you could say just as powerful as her play on the field is her message.
Addison explained, "I love it because I know the other team won't treat me any different. I've had people before who like to treat me different because of my looks and I know when I play softball it's never that way.”
Addison has two prosthetic legs, the result of a lawnmower accident when she was two years old. Despite the challenges that posed as she learned the game of softball, she said her mother never let her give up.
"It was definitely challenging for some things, like keeping my balance when I pitched or running after a ball and breaking things in the middle of games,” Addison said. "If I didn't push myself, I think I would've milked a lot more things. The fact that my family pushes me definitely makes me a better player."
When asked if she's proud of her daughter, Addison's mother said "proud" is an understatement.
"She battles every day just for things that you and I can do naturally without a thought. So to see her get out there and just try and go and do things, especially when she hasn't done them before, is amazing but then to see her excel and enjoy it and want to come back for more what more can a parent ask for?” Andrea Benson said.
An accomplishment Addison hopes can be an inspiration to others stepping up to the plate to face challenges of their own: "Chase your dreams. Don't let anybody tell you any different, that you are beautiful just the way you are. Just keep on following whatever you want to do. If you want to do something, go after it. Don't let anybody tell you that you can't do it because if you push yourself you absolutely can.”
Addison hopes to go on to play softball in high school. She also runs track and is interested in basketball.