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Debs return to the World Series

The Prince Edward-Farmville Youth Association (PEFYA) Debs All-Stars became back-to-back state champions Wednesday evening and will return to Alexandria, Louisiana for the Dixie Softball Debs World Series next week.

“It’s overwhelming just to know that they can do it two years in a row,” PEFYA Debs Manager David Schmidt said. “The competition was better this year from some teams.”

Though some of their games were close, the Debs went 5-0 during the double-elimination State Dixie Softball Debs All-Star Tournament in Sutherland.

“This is two years in a row that we went undefeated through the state,” Schmidt said.

Nine of the 12 girls on this year’s roster were part of last year’s team that also earned a trip to Louisiana for the World Series.

“They work so well together,” Schmidt said.

The state tournament field of 10 teams had shrunk to two by Wednesday, and in the championship game, Prince Edward-Farmville defeated the Halifax All-Stars 7-4.

The PEFYA Debs jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning, then made it 4-0 in the second and 5-0 in the third. Halifax rallied in the fourth to create a 5-4 score, but PEFYA’s defense protected the lead while its offense added a run in the sixth and the seventh.

The tag-team of Shauneice Beasley and Hannah-Gray Schmidt helped power Prince Edward-Farmville in the circle. Beasley pitched the first two innings, Schmidt took the next two, Beasley returned for two more and Schmidt closed the game out.

On offense, “everybody was hitting,” Manager Schmidt said.

To reach the state title game, PEFYA defeated the Lunenburg All-Star squad 6-4 on Tuesday.

Caroline Seal starred offensively and also on defense at the catcher position. Sierra Wharam contributed in the circle for the first three innings, and Mary Grace Amos also pitched for an inning.

On Monday, the PEFYA Debs defeated the Powhatan All-Stars 6-4.

“It was probably one of the better games we have played,” Schmidt said, also adding that Powhatan was one of the better teams that his squad faced.

Helping power Prince Edward-Farmville to victory in the contest were Amos and Wharam, who each hit a home run.

PEFYA topped the Amelia All-Stars 8-2 on Sunday, had a bye Saturday and opened its state run with a 9-3 win over Lunenburg on Friday.

Schmidt said that his team’s pitching was outstanding during the tournament, and on offense, “when we needed hits, everybody got them.”

He noted that while the girls have a proven ability to hit fast pitches, they have struggled hitting against slow pitching in the past.

“But we found a way to hit it in this tournament,” he said.

The Debs World Series will feature 11 teams, and it begins July 29.