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PEFYA Darlings fall in district tourney

The Prince Edward-Farmville Youth Association (PEFYA) Darlings All-Star team had only a three-game run this year, but the squad still showed strength while going 1-2 during the Dixie Softball Darlings District 1 Tournament it hosted in Farmville over the weekend.

“Overall they did good,” PEFYA Darlings Head Coach David Schmidt said of his team. “They’re a good hitting squad and a good fielding squad. A couple of mine are young, but overall they played well.”

They twice faced the formidable challenge posed by the Crewe-Burkeville All-Star team, which Schmidt estimates has dominated the Darlings division for the last three years.

In its final game, PEFYA fell 14-3 to Crewe-Burkeville in four innings Monday after suffering a 21-7 loss to the perennial contenders June 23.

On Sunday, PEFYA achieved a 13-7 victory over the Blackstone All-Star team.

Though PEFYA did not come away with the district title, it did end up with the coveted sportsmanship award.

“That is pretty much what everybody shoots for,” Schmidt said. “Yes, you want to win (the tournament), but coming out with the sportsmanship (award) pretty much means that everybody acted and performed the way they were supposed to do, without any arguments or nobody hanging their head. Every time, whether we won or lost, everybody came off the field with good attitudes, and you couldn’t have asked for anything else.”

In terms of softball play, the coach noted that no one girl stood out on his team, but all of them performed well.

“It was just everybody added to the team as we expected them to do,” Schmidt said. “A lot of the girls, no matter where I put them, they performed.”

He did move them around some, particularly in the second meeting with Crewe-Burkeville, working on a game plan to eliminate pop flies.

Schmidt said his team’s best game was against Blackstone and not simply because it won.

“It’s because we were hitting the ball, running the bases and fielding,” he said. “And … if I remember right, we only had two errors in the whole game.”

He expressed confidence in what the PEFYA girls will be able to do moving forward.

“They are going to be a good team when they get older,” he said. “I have, I think, four girls that have to go up, but the rest of them, it looks like to me, can stay down. And it’s a whole lot of girls on here that are going to be really, really good as they go, because we have probably three girls that are already trying to start pitch,” and the next level up is where players assume full responsibilities in the circle.