85 teams battle in 5th annual Play for Kate softball tournament this weekend

85 teams battle in 5th annual Play for Kate softball tournament this weekend

WARRICK CO., Ind. (WFIE) - A southern Indiana girl is being remembered this weekend through the sport she loved.

Friday marked the start of the 5th annual “Play for Kate” softball tournament which honors Kate Bruggenschmidt. She was just 11-years-old when she died in a 2015 ATV crash.

Kate’s mother, Ashlee, told 14 News it’s not about winning or losing. It’s not about balls or strikes. It is about being a good person. It’s about working hard and having a positive attitude.

85 teams from around the region are stepping up to the plate to show support for the Bruggenschmidts.

“It’s just so humbling to see the support that we get from this community,” Ashlee Bruggenschmidt said.

Kate died while riding an ATV in between games during a softball tournament. Her family and the foundation are not anti-ATV, but about riding safely.

"To have one child fatality is still huge, we want that number zero,” Bruggenschmidt explained. “We went over two years without a child fatality since the passing of the law. The years before that, when there were 23 or 25, we still strive for that number zero.”

Before the first round of games got underway Friday evening, opening ceremonies were held.

As balloons floated towards the sky, the teams come together in a circle, but on the diamond, Tri-State teams squared off against some who traveled from other states including Tennessee, Illinois and Missouri.

The support stretches beyond the complex.

"One of the hotel blocks was telling us they made ‘Play for Kate’ cookies for all of their guests,” Bruggenschmidt smiled.

On Saturday at noon Mayor Charlie Wyatt will be dedicating a field at the Boonville Youth league baseball and softball complex in Kate’s memory.

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