Tonganoxie Braves prepare for nationals
The Tonganoxie Braves softball team won't have as far to travel for this year's American Fastpitch Association Tournament.
The past two seasons, the team has trekked to Oklahoma City, but this season, the Braves will be able to make the trip in less than a half hour.
This year's AFA National Tournament will be held in Lawrence. Playing in the 14-and-under B Division, Tonganoxie, which is coached by Pat Albert, will play in the tourney July 29-Aug. 3.
To cover costs associated with the tournament, the team is having a car wash from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday at First State Bank and Trust on U.S. Highway 24-40.
The Braves have a 28-21 record, a slightly different mark than last season when they were 34-8 going into the national tournament.
However, that was in the 12-and-under division.
This season, the team primarily has played against top teams loaded with 15-year-olds.
"We won our tournament to get into the nationals real early, so the rest of the year we've been playing 14A," Albert said "We've finished second a couple times."
The Braves, who played in the 12-and-under division last season, still have many 12- and 13-year-old players this summer.
Most 14A opponents have more 15-year-olds because the 14-and-under rules state that players must be 14 as of Jan. 1 of this year.