CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 SPORTS) -- For the last 30 years, Heidi Freitager has lived the sport of softball, the last two as the head coach at Monticello.

"Every day I go to work, I get to wear a t-shirt and shorts and teach kids the game I love and the game I grew up playing and the game that really kind of pushed me forward in life," Freitager said.

The joy Freitager has for the game resonates with her players.

"I think this is like her sanctuary almost because I think it's a sanctuary for all of us," junior infielder Katie O'Connor said. "Like this is where we come the bad days and the good days. This is our constant, softball."

Freitager was diagnosed with breast cancer this past December, only a few months before her first season as the Mustang's full-time coach after previously serving as the interim head coach.

"I think some of this season is to show the girls that when you go through things in life you can definitely make it what you make of it and to maintain a positive attitude really gets you through a lot of the things that you're going through," Freitager said.

But she has rarely missed a day of practice, even showing up for a game in March hours after surgery.

"At the beginning, she was not sure that she's going to be able to be here for all of our games," freshman pitcher Kaitlyn Wills said. "So it means a lot that we can be here for her and I hope that we can come out here and give it our all for her because Heidi is one of the most important people in my life and she's helped me so much."

"She doesn't show it very often like any of the fatigue or anything, she is just always present and in the moment like it doesn't matter how bad she's feeling," O'Connor said. "She's always there for us."

On Tuesday night though, the Mustangs were there for Freitager. Monticello faced Charlottesville with the crowd and players decked out in pink to support Freitager and others with breast cancer in the crowd.

"When I have a platform like this where we can do that and not only talk to the girls about it," Freitager said. "But then also share with other teams that we've been playing and throughout the season I've had a lot of teams that have come over and said, 'Hey, we're with you, we're appreciative of what you're doing.' I think that's that's been really rewarding throughout the year."

Raising money for research at the UVA Breast Care Center through the game of softball.

"It's really special when we partner with the community," UVA Breast Care Center Medical Director Dr. Christiana Brenin said. "It's very empowering to patients to know that we all work together. It means a lot to people that the community is all on board and they're trying to contribute all together."

Freitager has been an example of strength for her players, including Wills who has watched her own grandmother, one of Tuesday's first pitch throwers, fight the same battle.

"It made me really appreciate everybody in my life and everything that she's taught me I never want to take anything for granted," Wills said. "And I just see how precious everything truly is and how thankful I am to have everybody and everything in my life."

In 30 years of softball and a few months with her diagnosis, Freitager continues to play through it all.

"Everybody's always asking me, 'Hey, how are you doing? And I'm like, I'm upright," she said. "And as long as I'm upright and I'm moving around and able to appreciate everything that's given to me."