BELMONT — China E. Stogner, a former Carlmont High softball player, died Monday at the age of 23 of cervical cancer.

A celebration of her life was conducted Saturday at one of the places she loved the best — Carlmont's softball field, now known as Jim Liggett Field, named for the Scots' longtime and illustrious softball coach.

China Stogner, the niece of Peninsula Athletic League Commissioner Terry Stogner, played softball at Carlmont between 1996-2000. Free-spirited and fun-loving, China was in the Carlmont program for four years but had to battle to make the starting lineup in one of the most high-powered prep programs in the County. She was a part-time starter her junior year and finally landed the first-base job as a senior.

Her best season came in 1999 when Carlmont amassed a team- and County-record 35 wins in a single season. "China was a fun-loving person who added to the lighter side of the team," said Liggett at the standing-room only celebration attended by about 700 people. "There were many times she helped us all relax and enjoy softball. She wasn't the greatest athlete, but she loved the game and learned to be a team player."

Coincidentally, Liggett was diagnosed with prostate cancer at the same time China Stogner was undergoing treatment for cervical cancer. They had the same oncologist and radiologist and found time to share notes and thoughts on their experience of treatment and fight for recovery. Jim Liggett is making progress in his fight.

After Carlmont, China went to Chico State and recently graduated. She had started her own home-staging business before embarking on a 10-month struggle with her illness. In honor of her life, a scholarship fund is being established in her name. The China E. Stogner Memorial Softball Scholarship Fund will be awarding a yearly scholarship to a deserving Carlmont senior softball player. Donations can be sent c/o Barbara Stogner, Remax Today, 1250 San Carlos Avenue, San Carlos, CA 94070.

Published in the San Mateo County Times on 11/1/2006:

I am China Stogner I was gifted to the world on Christmas Day, 1981 and I died on Monday, October 23, 2006. I battled cancer this past year and, the short story is, I died from complications. I fought a good fight but when you gotta go, you gotta go. I leave behind my parents, Barbara and Michael, my sweet brother, Morgan, Cali Cat, Cookie dog, aunts, uncles, a zillion cousins, and the greatest friends one could ever possibly have. I attended Carlmont High School where I was a first base phenomenon. I graduated from Chico State with a major in Interior Design and a minor in partying. After having some fun traveling, I started my own design and staging business which was instantly successful. If I hadn't died it would have grown to a ragin' empire. There was a big party for me at Carlmont High School on Saturday, October 28th. As I expected, everyone shared their adventures starring ME!!! Laughter, tears, flowers, glitter and LOVE was the dress code. I have taken a little piece of each one of you with me, and I am going shopping. My family and friends have set up a scholarship fund in my name. Donations can be sent to The China E. Stogner Memorial Softball Scholarship Fund, Attn: Barbara Stogner, RE/MAX Today, 1250 San Carlos Avenue Suite 101, San Carlos, CA 94070.