Rousing finish for the LGS Debs All-Stars
The Lunenburg Girls’ Softball (LGS) Debs all-star team put together an outstanding finish to its 2019 run, going 3-2 in the 12-team 2019 Dixie Softball Debs State Tournament in Concord.
The Lunenburg girls had faced some of the other teams in the tournament during the regular season, and some of those other squads were expecting to outlast the LGS Debs in state play. But in the end, during the tourney, Lunenburg lost only to the last two undefeated teams — the Halifax all-star squad and the Clarksville All-Stars.
The LGS All-Stars advanced further than a key favorite to win the tournament — the Prince Edward-Farmville Youth Association all-star team, which was the three-time defending state champion.
The path in the state tourney was not easy for the girls of the Lunenburg squad, who proved to be quite resilient.
They found out before the tourney began that Molly Epperson, expected to be a key player on the team, would not be healthy enough to play in the tourney, and they pressed on as an 11-member team.
Then they did not open their run in the double-elimination event the way they wanted to at all, falling 11-0 to the Halifax all-star team July 19 in sweltering heat. Not only were playing conditions hot that day, but the girls also had to wait in the heat for an extended period of time before the game because the prior 1 p.m. contest ran long.
Every game was an elimination game for Lunenburg after that.
The girls rebounded July 20, eliminating the Powhatan all-star team with an 11-6 final score.
After action on July 21 was rained out, the LGS Debs produced their most dominant showing of the tourney July 22, defeating the Amherst all-star team 12-1.
The next day, Lunenburg faced the Buckingham All-Stars, a team deep with pitching, but pitcher Cameron Lewis and the LGS Debs’ defense held their own, allowing for a 5-4 come-from-behind win in eight innings that was fueled, in part, by small ball.
Clarksville, which was undefeated at the time, eliminated Lunenburg on July 24, but the LGS All- Stars had already shone brightly.
“They never gave up,” LGS Debs Manager Michael Lewis said when citing what he will remember about his players. “They always would work together and try and stay up and just persevere. They were down … first game with a loss. They could have just turned over, and instead they just continued to work hard, play together as a team.”
Only two players from the squad age out this year, so next year could be promising again for the Lunenburg Debs all-star team.
“I definitely think it will be,” Manager Lewis said. “There’s a couple Belles that should be aging out of the Belles and moving up to the Debs, and I think that will increase our chances for success next year as well.”
Titus Mohler is the sports editor for The Kenbridge-Victoria Dispatch and Farmville Newsmedia LLC. His email address is Titus.Mohler@KVDispatch.com.