Ponytails reach final four

Published 11:38 pm Monday, July 17, 2017

The Prince Edward-Farmville Youth Association (PEFYA) Ponytails All-Stars stood Sunday night as the last unbeaten squad in the eight-team State Dixie Softball Ponytails X-Play All-Star Tournament held in South Hill.

A 12-6 victory over the Amherst All-Star team Sunday took the PEFYA Ponytails’ record to 3-0 in the tourney and 6-0 overall after they swept the competition at the District 1 tournament.

Prince Edward-Farmville was slated to play the Amelia All-Stars on Monday evening and — win or lose — was guaranteed to play a game Tuesday in the double-elimination state tourney.

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“They play very well together,” PEFYA Ponytails Manager Larry Conwell said of his players. “They play as a team. There’s nothing … selfish about them.”

He added that they have good pitching and a great catcher.

“And we’re just a very good all-around team,” he said. “Yeah, we make a few errors, but we make up for it by not getting down on each other.”

Conwell credited his squad with playing a more complete game Sunday against Amherst.

“We hit the ball good, and we just jumped out early,” he said. “They had to play catch-up, and we could play more relaxed because we had a four or five, six run lead.”

He noted that Alyson Lucas and Danner Allen pitched quite well.

On offense, Kyla Edmonds and Olivia Elam each went 3-for-3.

On Saturday, the PEFYA Ponytails defeated the Amelia All-Stars 8-7, enjoying a substantial lead for most of the game until the final inning.

“They scored a couple runs in the top of the sixth to get within one…” Conwell said. “But we played good that game too. (We) just had a few errors at the wrong time.”

Edmonds was a particularly key contributor to the win, pitching the entire game while going 3-for-3 at the plate.

To open its run in the state tournament Friday, Prince Edward-Farmville achieved an 8-5 win.

“We played a good Emporia team,” Conwell said. “We struggled with the bats the first two innings. Then the girls adjusted and started hitting. Overall, we had a good, solid game.”

As his team was about to compete among the final four squads in the tourney Monday, Conwell said he felt good because his team still had strong pitching available, while he said other teams were running out of pitching.

The Prince Edward-Farmville players put themselves in a good position to earn a trip to Sumter, South Carolina for the 2017 Dixie Softball Ponytails X-Play World Series, which starts July 29.

“It’s a golden opportunity for these girls,” Conwell said. “It’d just be a great experience for them, because we went two years ago, and they were younger. They were only like 9 and 10. I think now they would appreciate it a little bit more.”