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National Softball Tournament Benefits Yankton Economy

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. - A national tournament is drawing in people from states all across the Midwest to one KELOLAND town. Youth softball players are coming to Yankton for the National Northern Fastpitch Softball Tournament.

The Bennington Badgers are excited to be playing in a national tournament this week. For these girls, it's their first time competing at a national level.

"It's just really awesome and it's a super fun experience we get to play teams we've never seen before and be challenged," softball player, Katelyn Langford said.

After a two and a half hour trip from Bennington, NE to Yankton, the girls are ready to take on the rest of the teams.

"They won C state in Nebraska so we're really proud of them and this is a big deal for them," parent Anne Dierks said.

33 teams are participating in this year's tournament, 28 of those teams are from outside of Yankton.

"We have teams from Missouri, Kansas, Iowa, South Dakota, Nebraska, Illinois and Wisconsin," Director of Yankton Convention and Visitors Center, Kasi Haberman said.

Haberman says events like this have a positive impact on the community.

"I would estimate between $650,000-$700,000 as far as visitor spending and economic impact would be about $1.7 million," Haberman said.

As for the Bennington Badgers, they couldn't have asked for a better experience together.

"Even though we're in different grades, we're all really good friends and they're like my family," softball player, Reese Smith said.

The tournament continues until Sunday. If you're interested in team brackets, we've posted a link here.


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