softball

Stone County Sheriff Doug Rader (left) and Fogle Family Foundation President Nolan Fogle. Rader will coach one of the four law enforcement teams playing in the 3rd Annual Hitting For Our Heroes Softball Tournament on Oct. 12.

Benefit the Badge and the Fogle Family Foundation is hosting its 3rd Annual Hitting For Our Heroes Softball Tournament on Saturday, Oct. 12 at the Branson RecPlex.

The tournament will feature a total of four teams, playing a total of four games for the championship title. Teams and players are made up of members of local law enforcement, according to Fogle Family Foundation President Nolan Fogle.

“It’s a softball event that’s more than just a fundraiser,” said Fogle. “It’s an opportunity for our local law enforcement officers to get out and have some fun, relieve some stress and do something away from their job, while at the same time giving all of us local citizens the opportunity to come out and show our appreciation to them in person.”

This year there will be a team comprised from members of the Taney County Sheriff’s Office and the Missouri State Highway Patrol, coached by Sheriff Jimmie Russell and Deputy Kyle Essary; a team from the Stone County Sheriff’s Office, coached by Sheriff Doug Rader; a team from the Branson Police Department, coached by Chief Jeff Matthew and Assistant Chief Eric Schmidt.

There is also a team comprised of members from the Merriam Woods, Branson West and Springfield police departments, coached by police chiefs Mark Trog and Steve Dalton.  

“What happens is, starting at 9 o’clock, we have our first game and two teams will face off,” said Fogle. “Then at 10:30 a.m. the other two teams will face off. Then at 2 o’clock the two teams that lost those first two games will face off to play for 3rd place. Then at 3:30 p.m. the two teams that won those first two games will face off for the championship.”

After the first two games are played Saturday morning, Benefit the Badge will host the 2019 Home Run Derby at noon. The proceeds raised from the derby will go to Scott Britton, a local law enforcement officer and long time supporter of Benefit the Badge, who was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer back in April. 

“The format is a head-to-head. So lets say we have 40 people in the derby. That will be broken up into 20 head-to-head competitions. You will get 10 swings and you can have 12 pitches. So you can let two pitches go by if they’re bad, but you have to swing at all the rest,” said Fogle. “Out of those head-to-head match-ups, whoever wins moves on to the second round. So half of the participants will move on to the second round, where they’ll be in another head-to-head match. Half of that will move on to the third round, and we’ll get a winner based on that. So it’s whoever can hit the most out of that head-to-head match up with 10 swings.”

The Home Run Derby is open to everyone, and the registration fee is $10. Participants can buy back into the second round of the tournament and swing again for $5 if they are eliminated after the first round. 

Prizes will be awarded to the top five derby participates. First place will receive a $300 Miken Softball Bat, 2nd place will receive $100 in cash, 3rd place will receive a $75 Miken Softball Backpack, 4th place will receive two pairs of Miken Batting Gloves and 5th place will receive one pair of Miken batting gloves.  

Other events taking place at the tournament will include a silent auction, games, bounce houses and face painting. The softball games will be called by long-time KY3 sports reporter Ned Reynolds and Benefit the Badge’s own Anthony Stacy. 

General admission into the event is $5 per person and VIP admission is $20 per person. VIPs will receive seating in the first two rows of seating at the tournament and some Benefit the Badge swag items. Children two and under are free. 

Event tickets can be purchased the day of the tournament or in advance by contacting Anthony Stacy at 417-335-1840 or benefitthebadge@gmail.com. Anyone interested in volunteering their time to the event can also contact Stacy. 

Visit the Benefit the Badge Facebook page for additional event details.

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