Play For Kate: Tournament dedicated to girls killed in ATV and car accident

Play For Kate: Tournament dedicated to girls killed in ATV and car accident
Published: Sep. 30, 2023 at 9:44 PM CDT
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EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - Athletes came together Saturday to remember a girl named Kate who was killed in an ATV accident in 2015.

48 teams came to the Deaconess Sports Complex to play in honor of Kate.

“These softball players, they play in hundreds of tournaments every year. We didn’t want Play For Kate to be just another tournament, we want it to be about challenging these girls to make a positive impact.

Ashlee Bruggenschmidt who created the tournament 8 years ago is also Kate’s mom.

“Kate wasn’t the best athlete, she wasn’t the best softball player but I would challenge, she was probably the best teammate,” said Ashlee.

Kate was 11 years old in 2015 when she was killed in an ATV accident in-between softball games.

“After Kate’s accident, Ashton was just devasted,” said Ashton’s mom, Jamie Pryor.

Jamie says Ashton was Kate’s best friend and teammate growing up and was killed in a car accident earlier this year.

“I know that there is a reason and I’m just trusting God’s plan,” said Jamie.

Because of Ashton’s passing, all of the proceeds from this year’s tournament will go to the Love Like Ashton Pryor Foundation.

“Kate would want to help support her best friend and her teammate,” said Ashlee. “The Pryors’ in general have been a rock for us after losing Kate so we just feel like it’s the right thing to do.”

After almost a decade without her daughter, and more than six months without Ashton, both moms hope these athletes can hold on to their legacy, by how they play.

“It’s not about balls, it’s not about strikes, it’s not about wins, it’s not about losses,” said Ashlee. “It’s about being a good person, having a good attitude and working hard at everything that you do.”

Although her heart still aches, she’s happy to see the response from the community even all these years later.

“It’s kind of crazy that your heart can be broken but filled with so much love when you see all these people out here, these girls wearing the number 12,” said Ashlee. “I think it just fills your heart with love to know their legacy lives on.”

Softball games will start again there tomorrow morning, as well as a silent auction and raffle.