PEFYA Debs pull away to rout Amherst

Published 8:32 pm Saturday, July 16, 2016

The Prince Edward-Farmville Youth Association (PEFYA) Debs All-Star softball team rallied on Friday night against the Amherst All-Stars, endured a weather delay and returned on Saturday afternoon to pull away for a 17-5 win during the Dixie Softball Debs State Tournament in Kenbridge.

“They came out and had some jitters, which I didn’t expect,” PEFYA Manager Michael Roach said of his players, “but the other team was actually a real solid team, and (we) came back today and jitters were gone and played really well today.”

Amherst took a 3-2 lead after the first inning on Friday, but PEFYA rallied for a 4-3 advantage when play was stopped on Friday evening.

“So really close game,” Roach said. “Both teams played well. Pitching was really good for both sides.”

PEFYA used four pitchers, including Jaden Capati, Melissa Wright, Hannah-Gray Schmidt and Mary Grace Amos.

“Unfortunately, the other team’s pitcher couldn’t be here today to finish this game, but she was awesome last night,” Roach said. Not counting on a rain delay, “she had planned to work, so it was one of those things. I understand completely.”

Debs features girls ages 16-18, and many of them have jobs with work schedules that can conflict when weather unexpectedly re-arranges their playing schedule.

Nevertheless, PEFYA had begun its rally on Friday and was able to pull away on Saturday, never relinquishing its lead. It scored five runs in the fifth, Amherst responded with two in the sixth, but then PEFYA piled on eight in the seventh.

Leading PEFYA on offense for the game was Gracie Hodges and Amos, each of which produced three runs batted in.

“Gracie led us off with a home run,” Roach said, referring to the first at-bat and third pitch of the game. “That’s a good way to start.”

Wright and Schmidt each had two RBIs apiece.

At 1 p.m. on Sunday in Kenbridge, PEFYA will play the Lunenburg All-Stars, who defeated the Amelia All-Stars 11-1 in five innings on Saturday afternoon.