One of the northland's most popular softball tournaments of the summer will take place this coming weekend in Cloquet. The Ashley Abrahamson Tournament will feature many of the top teams from around the area and even some from the Twin Cities.
"There are two divisions this year," explained co-director of the tournament and friend of Abrahamson's, Sarah Tondryk. "We have eight U-12 teams and 10 U-14 teams making this our largest tournament."
The tournament is named in honor of Ashley Abrahamson who died in a car crash along with Tom and Marcia Braun, whom Braun Park is named after. Ashley was an aspiring softball player and was to have played that spring with many of her classmates.
"Ashley was 13 when she died, it was our seventh grade year," recalled Tondryk. "The Abrahamson family will be there this weekend and we will have opening ceremonies and ceremonial first pitch at noon on Saturday."
Through the eight years of the tournament, a special award called the Ashley Award, is given to a player on each team who best exemplifies the traits and what Ashley stood for. Those awards will be given out at 12:30 on Sunday afternoon.
"There will be pool play on Saturday with three games for each team," said Tondryk. "On Sunday, games will start at 8 a.m. with third place and consolation championships at 4 p.m. and the championship at 5:30.
"This tournament is to honor the memory of Ashley," explained Tondryk. "It is a great way to remember our friend and to honor her."