PEFYA Debs finish 1-2 at World Series

Published 11:43 pm Sunday, July 30, 2017

Prince Edward-Farmville Youth Association’s (PEFYA) Debs All-Star team, representing Virginia, lost Sunday evening to Tennessee to finish with a 1-2 record at the 2017 Dixie Softball Debs World Series in Alexandria, Louisiana.

Tennessee opened up a sizable lead against Virginia and went on to win 9-3 in the double-elimination tournament.

The 1-2 World Series run by Prince Edward-Farmville was an improvement over its 0-2 showing in 2016.

Email newsletter signup

“It was a good weekend,” Virginia Manager David Schmidt said Sunday night. “… And they’ve grown so much from last year to this year. The talent is there. They’ve raised the bar talent-wise.”

He noted the girls’ bats were simply not consistent enough to avoid elimination from the tournament.

“But all in all, I’m very proud of them,” he said of his players. “It’s a good experience for all of them, and we talked afterwards and pretty much, there’s nothing but good (that) came out of (the weekend).”

The PEFYA Debs finished the summer with a 6-2 record after going undefeated in the Virginia state tournament for the second straight year.

Against Tennessee on Sunday, the game was scoreless through the first three innings, and then Tennessee scored six runs in the fourth.

“We just had one bad inning, and it was not bad on defense,” Schmidt said. “They just hit the holes, and it was just good hits.”

Offering good performances in the circle for Virginia were Sierra Wharam, Hannah-Gray Schmidt and Shauneice Beasley, and Manager Schmidt also said his team’s fielding was good.

The PEFYA Debs’ lone win in the World Series came Sunday morning when they defeated Alabama 5-4 in 10 innings. Virginia led most of the game and weathered a late Alabama rally to win in the third extra inning.

“They fought,” Schmidt said of his players. “They fought very hard. Pitching was awesome from both pitchers, but everybody (on) the team just played great.”

Virginia held a 2-0 lead after the first inning, extending it to 3-0 in the third and 4-0 in the fourth. Alabama hit a home run in the bottom of the fifth inning to help cut the lead to 4-2.

Hannah-Gray Schmidt pitched well for Virginia, throwing five strikeouts in five innings. Beasley relieved her in the fifth and pitched the rest of the way, throwing four strikeouts total.

Alabama tied the game in the bottom of the sixth, and the scoreboard remained unchanged until the top of the 10th.

“In the sixth inning, we left three girls on base, the seventh inning, we left two girls on base,” Manager Schmidt said. “The eighth inning and the ninth inning, we left three apiece on base.”

But in the 10th, Gracie Hodges scored the go-ahead run off of a hit from Alexa Marzloff, and the Virginia defense held firm in the bottom of the inning, with Beasley throwing a strikeout for the game’s final out.

Schmidt praised Wharam, who played at first base, for some outstanding plays on defense, including catching a couple of foul balls right at the fence.

“Everybody on defense played hard, and I don’t think we had any errors,” he said.

Schmidt noted his players, nine of which were on last year’s Virginia squad, were quite excited to get their first win at the World Series level.

“It’s overdue,” he said. “They’ve just been nervous. And I don’t know why, but when they step to the plate, you can see where they’re a little nervous playing World Series (as) opposed to state. But hopefully this took the jitters out.”

On a rainy Saturday morning in its World Series opener, Virginia fell 11-6 to a talented North Carolina squad.

Despite the loss, Virginia had solid pitching from Hannah-Gray Schmidt, Beasley and Wharam.

On offense, Alexis Gayles went 3-for-3 at the plate, and Caroline Seal helped fuel a mid-game rally with a three-run home run.