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Contact 2: Local softball team strikes out with travel agent

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ST. LOUIS (KTVI) - A men's softball team recently wrapped up tournament play with unplanned travel expenses. They say the person they paid to book the trip dropped the ball.

The team, "1843 Ole Skool," began planning its October trip back in June. Imagine their frustration when they discovered—just days before departure—that their trip was in jeopardy. They've been playing league softball for more than 20 years. The team name reflects not only their age, but their enthusiasm for the game. So it's no surprise they were hyped for the World Masters Tournament in Las Vegas, a significant event, according to player Joe Marshall.

“It’s a tournament of about 500 teams from all over the world,” he said.

The trip was supposed to be handled by Geneva Smith of Places To Go Things To Do Travel. Thirty two people, players, family and friends, said they gave Smith $16,000 for roundtrip flights and 4 to 5 nights at the Stratosphere Hotel. But Marshall said that's not what they got.

“We’ve got the flight there and one-night hotel stay. So now we got to scramble to cover the rest of the nights hotel and the return flights,” he said.

They borrowed money and shared credit cards to salvage the trip. To avoid added expense, some people stayed home.

“I was one of several folks who decided it was not in our best interest to go only because we only had a departure flight paid for,” said teammate Derek Collins. “There were no hotel reservations for us, for any of the days. And no return flights.”

“When we called the airline, they specifically told us that she canceled it on the credit card,” said player Jimmy Vaughn.

Only 10 players made the trip. That affected their game, according to team manager Brad Woods.

“It took its toll on some of the players. As far as minor things, little routine things, guys getting upset, and we had a ton of injuries. Five of the 10 played multiple games with injuries,” he said.

Joe Marshall said the trip was not fun.

“The entire trip we didn’t get a chance to have any fun because we had to concentrate on hotels, flights every single day that we were there from October 1 to October 5.”

When asked for comment, Geneva Smith left a message with Contact 2, saying she is working on repaying the team. The team estimates it cost an extra $9,000 to salvage the trip.

Call our Contact 2 Call For Action line with your concerns. The hotline is open Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. The number is 800-782-2222.