The SEAFA 14U softball team finished their summer 2019 season at the NAFA Nationals played in Eden Prarie, Shakopee, and Minnetonka.
After finishing the regular season, the Sleepy Eye 14U ASA Softball team spent July 25th, 26th, and 27th at the NAFA Nationals, with games played at Eden Prairie, Minnetonka, and Shakopee, MN. Even though no trophies or medals were brought home, it was a fun time for all, with Sleepy Eye gaining experience by playing teams from Minnesota, North Dakota, Illinois, and Wisconsin. Gift bags representing the team's city were exchanged between Sleepy Eye and the first team it played, pins were exchanged with teams from all over and displayed on hats and lanyards, and there was even a parade, with each team choosing a special theme. Sleepy Eye proudly wore red, white, and blue for a USA theme.
The first three games were played to see which bracket each team would enter. On July 25th, Sleepy Eye met up with the North Dakota Elite at Eden Prairie. Julia Helget pitched and Maddie Mathiowetz caught. Sleepy Eye had no hits and lost this game 6-0. North Dakota eventually went on to win first place in the highest level at the tournament.
Game two was played at Minnetonka against the SE MN Gamblers from St. Charles. Bella Hoffmann pitched and Gracie Sellner was the catcher. Julia Helget hit a double and Lacey Mathiowetz had a single. Sleepy Eye lost this game 6-2.
Game three was played on July 26 at Shakopee against the KV Storm from Illinois. Lacey Mathiowetz pitched and Maddie Mathiowetz did the catching. Maddie sailed one over the fence in this game. Bella Hoffmann hit a triple, Allie Labat a double, and Maya Nelson a single with an RBI. It was a 7-4 victory for Sleepy Eye.
The fourth game was played on July 26th at Minnetonka against the Wolf Pack of Cottage Grove. Julia Helget pitched and Maddie Mathiowetz caught. Julia hit two singles with one RBI, Maddie had a double with two RBIs, and Maya Nelson added a double. Brooke Arneson contributed a single and one RBI, Kallie Zarn, Reagan Severson, and Lacey Mathiowetz each had a single, and Bella Hoffmann and Abby Schwartz were responsible for one RBI each. This game resulted in a 10-1 win for Sleepy Eye.
Game five, played on July 26th, was played against the Windmill Reckers of Illinois, with a 6-0 loss for Sleepy Eye. Bella Hoffmann and Maddie Mathiowetz pitched and caught and Allie Labat and Maya Nelson each hit a single.
The final game for Sleepy Eye was played in Shakopee, MN, on July 27th, against The Fury from Eau Claire, Wisconsin. Lacey Mathiowetz and Julia Helget shared pitching duties while Madison Mathiowetz took care of the catching. In this match up, Madison hit a a triple while Abby Schwartz added a double, two singles, and two RBIs. Julia Helget and Kallie Zarn each contributed a double and an RBI, Allie Labat added two singles and an RBI, and Bella Hoffmann brought in one run. The game ended in an 8-8 tie causing the International Tie Breaker Rule to be used. After a hard fought battle, The Fury got three more runs and Sleepy Eye got zero, losing this game 11-8.
The Sleepy Eye 14U ASA team will now hang up their gloves until next year, with an overall 22 wins, 9 losses, and two tournament championships.
Submitted by Linda Seifert