UW-L fraternity hosts Sara Softball Tournament to honor fallen f - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

UW-L fraternity hosts Sara Softball Tournament to honor fallen friend

UW-L fraternity hosts Sara Softball Tournament to honor fallen friend

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La Crosse, WI (WXOW) -  UW-La Crosse's Chi Phi fraternity hosted the third annual Sara Softball Tournament Saturday to honor Sara Hougom and raise funds for the community policing program in the Washburn neighborhood.

Hougom was shot and killed by an intruder in 2012 in La Crosse.  In the wake of her death, friends at Chi Phi started the Sara Softball Tournament to raise awareness of community violence. 

Adam Pannier, who was a friend of Sara's, said that the tournament helped friends and family get through the difficult times following her death.  "It was tough to get passed," he said.  "With something that hit so close to home, it was just the right time for something for everyone really to just come together."

The tournament has grown over the past three years, including a jump from twelve teams to sixteen teams this year.

"This year it is a sixteen team pool play tournament, so each team plays three games in their pool, and then there is a semi-final with the winner of each pool, and then a final championship game," Chi Phi Vice President Logan Tate explained.

Chi Phi wants the tournament to continue to grow.  "We don't want this to just be a University of Wisconsin-La Crosse event.  We'd really like to see it--something that not only the La Crosse community can get behind, but Holmen, Onalaska, all the surrounding areas," Tate said.

Sherry Hougom, Sara's mom, approves.  

"It really warms my heart to see all the support and the love and the positive energy, and the direction they want to take this event," Hougom said.  

"Sara would love this," Hougom said.

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