Why We #PlayforKate

Fusion has been a supporter of #PlayforKate since the first tournament in 2017. In 2018 several of Kates teammates from Bomb Squad 04 joined our Fusion organization and wanted Kate’s legacy to be honored and remembered. And so did we.


Kate Bruggenschmidt was an energetic, driven, and kind-hearted 11-year-old who impacted all who had the privilege of knowing and loving her.

On July 26, 2015, Kate’s team won a softball game early in the morning had a long break before their next game. Kate and some of her teammates went to one of their houses to hang out between games; tragically, Kate died there in an ATV accident.

With one phone call, on one ordinary day, life as we knew it changed forever.

Kate’s family wants to encourage everyone to make a positive impact EVERY DAY (that is what Kate did). Kate had a positive attitude, worked hard at everything she did, and was a kind and loving teammate/classmate/person.

This is what Play for Kate is all about…. that is what LIFE is about. It isn’t about wins or losses or balls and strikes, but more about being a good person, working hard, and having a positive attitude. Kate may have only been here 11 years old, but she made a difference…. a difference that will live on forever in the hearts of all of us….and we challenge all of you to do the same!

Below are links to articles of Ashlee Bruggenschmidt (Kate’s mother) and Randi Jo Pryor (Fusion Alum) advocating for the Off-Road Vehicle Child Helmet Law in Indiana, which requires all children under 18 years of age to wear a helmet on or in any Off-Road Vehicle (ORV).

“Kate Bruggenschmidt was my absolute best friend. She was more like a sister to me and used to “mom” me if I ever did anything. She wore #12 on her jersey, I wear #12 on my jersey today for her. She was a girl who always made everyone around feel welcomed, had the best sportsmanship, was such a kind girl, and was friends with everyone. She was one special girl, and always will be.

I used to play softball with her since I was 5 years old. We were at a softball tournament and we had a 9 hour break before our next game. Kate went to a friend’s house during the break. She was riding four wheelers with another one of my fellow teammates. They were not wearing helmets because there were other girls that were riding an electric razor that had helmets on. Kate was not very familiar with riding four wheelers, but she was driving. She went up a hill and it turned over on top of her, my other teammate jumped off the ATV, Kate stayed on. She was instantly killed.

Since that day my life has changed, and softball is more important to me because I play for my girl. I will always play for her and remember her. She was my best friend through everything and impacted my life so much. She was such a kind soul. Ever since she has passed away softball has become more than a game. It is not about the wins and losses, it’s about the love the game gives us, the friendships we make playing the game.

I will always play for my girl. #playforkate”       

—Ashton Pryor