Two Cottage Grove teams excited to host local national tournament
The Cottage Grove Athletic Association has been working hard over the past few years to host a national tournament. On the weekend of July 26-29, Cottage Grove will achieve that goal and host a national 10U softball tournament.
In that tournament, two of the teams will be local with Cottage Grove Green and Cottage Grove White participating for the championship. It's been a fun season for both teams and they're excited to end their season with this type of tournament.
"It's been a fun season for our team and we've done some great things," said Alivia Brink, a 10-year-old from Cottage Grove White. "I'm excited to be a host team for this tournament."
The two teams have set similar goals and expectations to make sure the girls are doing their best in practices and in games. The coaches have taught the fundamentals from covering bases to catching fly balls to pitching mechanics.
The two teams have had some great seasons with Cottage Grove White going 5-0 in the state tournament and winning state. The Cottage Grove Green team has gone 16-12-1 in tournament this season and have started to believe the system of improvement.
"I've learned how to field, be a smarter runner, drag bunting and pitch better," said Keira Brennan, a 10-year-old from Cottage Grove Green.
"I've learned how to catch better, play first base and have a lot of fun with friends," said Peyton Moerke, a 10-year-old from Cottage Grove Green.
The national tournament will have about 80 teams competing for the championship and Calla Forys, a 10-year-old from Cottage Grove White, is excited to play teams from different states. The girls from the green team are excited as well because they get to know more players and create more friendships throughout the weekend.
"Cottage Grove has such a rich history for softball with Park High School and their success," said Derek Lasovich, the coach from Cottage Grove Green. "It just seems fitting to have this tournament in a city like Cottage Grove."
Haley Lasovich, a 10-year-old on Cottage Grove Green, said she's excited for the pins that will be happening at the national tournament. At younger ages like 10U, the national tournament allows girls to exchange pins from other girls on different teams.
Each girl on the Cottage Grove team will receive 16 pins that they can trade with any other girl at the tournament. It's a way to strengthen the softball community with its younger players throughout the country.
"I can't wait to trade my pins with other girls," Haley Lasovich said. "It's a fun time to make new friends too."
Since this is the last tournament for both of the teams this summer before fall ball starts in a month or so, the two coaches want their players to have fun. They want them to play hard and leave it all on the field, but they also want them to enjoy the experience because it doesn't happen that often to play in a national tournament.
"I've seen so much growth and fun from this team that it's made my job as coach so much easier," said Allyson Youngquist, coach for Cottage Grove White. "I just can't wait to see how they do to wrap up their season."