Tonganoxie Braves earn berth at national tournament with invitational title at Field of Dreams
The Tonganoxie Braves softball team has qualified for this year's American Fastpitch Association National Tournament, which will be held July 18-25 in Lawrence.
In their first tournament of the summer, the Braves took first out of 17 teams in the 16-and-younger Memorial Day Classic at Basehor's Field of Dreams. The title gave Tonganoxie a berth in this year's national tournament.
In the championship game, the Braves blanked the Kansas City Impact, 8-0.
Tonganoxie went 8-1 in the tournament, losing a 2-0 heartbreaker in the Braves' fourth game Saturday during pool play.
The team relied on solid defense in the infield and hustle in the outfield.
Tracie Hileman made some game-saving catches at the center field position.
Amie Riddle and Amanda Albert shared the pitching duties.
The team also had success on offense throughout the tournament. Tracie Hileman, Melissa Pratt, and Amie Riddle hit out-of-the-park home runs and earned T-shirts that said, "I hit it out at the Field of Dreams."
The Braves next will be in action June 18 and 19 in Salina. On June 25 and 26, the team heads to Topeka for another tournament.
The team plans to play in a tournament July 9 and 10, but the site hasn't been decided.
When the Braves compete in the national tournament in Lawrence, they'll be pursuing a second consecutive national title.
Last July, the Braves won the 14-and-younger AFA "B" national title in Lawrence with a 4-1 record. Tonganoxie defeated the Tufco Heartbreakers of Gentry, Ark., 4-0, in the championship game for the club's first national title.