Former Hofstra softball player hits the big screen

Courtesy philadelphia.phillies.mlb.com 
It has been one busy and exciting month of December for former Hofstra softball player Genevieve Haney. Not only was Haney voted in an online contest to be a Philadelphia Phillies Ballgirl next season but the 2008 Hofstra graduate is also appearing on the big screen in a new movie opening this weekend. 

Haney has a part in the new love comedy that hit theaters Friday Dec. 17 called “How Do You Know” starring Reese Witherspoon as a United States Olympic softball All-Star that get’s cut from the team because she is considered too old. Haney plays the role of Ava Bands, Witherspoon’s USA Olympic softball teammate and friend. 

“After hearing about the tryouts in New York I applied and after many interviews, I was fortunate enough to get offered this role,” said Haney, who works fulltime as coordinator of marketing for Villanova University in addition to her new roles as a Phillies Ballgirl and actress.

Many softball players received roles in the movie including members of the USA Olympic team. Haney had the chance to practice next to USA Olympians Crystal Bustos and Lovieanne Jung. She was also trained by former UCLA coach Sue Enquist, who ironically was in the dugout when Hofstra defeated the number one-ranked Bruins in February of 2000 in Hawaii, a game that was voted by Pride fans as the greatest game in school history two months ago.  

“It is every softball player's dream to put on a USA jersey and play for your country, and I got to do it in this movie,” said Haney, a Levittown, Pa. native who was a utility infielder for Hofstra and was apart of Pride teams that captured four straight Colonial Athletic Association titles from 2005-2008 and won six NCAA Tournament games from 2005-2008. 

During filming for “How Do You Know”, Haney got to know Witherspoon very well and has become an even greater fan of the actress because of how down to earth and friendly she was. “She is definitely one of my favorite actresses and after meeting her, she always will be,” said Haney. 

Despite juggling many responsibilities between her marketing job at Villanova and being in a movie Haney has also found time to contribute to charitable causes in the Philadelphia area and she is hoping being a Phillies Ballgirl will only increase her platform of giving back. One Philadelphia area organization Haney has started to work closely with is the HEADstrong Foundation, which is aimed at raising research dollars to fight blood cancer and was founded in honor of former Hofstra men’s lacrosse player Nick Colleluori after he died from non-Hodgkin's lymphoma at age 21. 

[Being a Phillies Ballgirl] will only give me more opportunities to help out in the community and make me aware of groups and events that I may not have had the chance to be involved with,” said Haney. "I am looking forward to building relationships with the other girls as well as the fans and the people I meet along the way.

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