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Powhatan Belles compete in state tournament

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Powhatan Belles

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The Powhatan Belles roster consists of Lily Barr, Kensley Blaska, Izzie Chandler, Makaela Doyle, McKenley Fox, Madison Jenkins, Hayden Payne, Shelby Reed, Lila Robertson, Liv Snider, Anna Tingle, Anna Yarbrough. They are coached by Chuck Osterman, Chip Payne, Josh Fox, Cody Osterman.

Weeks after winning the 2022 Dixie League District 5 Championship, the Powhatan Fastpitch Softball’s Belles Division All-Stars traveled to Amherst, Virginia for the Dixie Softball State Tournament.

With a chance to punch a ticket to the Dixie League World Series held in Louisiana, Powhatan showed great fight in the next level of competition, but was eliminated short of the championship despite winning its opening game and battling hard in two close losses to Amherst’s All-Star squad.

The first game of the tournament for the Belles was a 16-6 win over the District 2 Appomattox All-Stars on Friday, July 15, in an offense-heavy matchup that found 10 Powhatan players registering at least one run. Led by three-hit efforts from Hayden Payne and Shelby Reed, Powhatan railed off 10 runs in just the third inning alone to jump out to a 10-0 lead before closing the game out in the fifth inning with six more runs in the fourth inning.

Though Appomattox scored six runs in the top of the fourth, that strong inning felt like an anomaly away from an overall stellar defensive outing from Powhatan that saw zero errors out on the field. That strong defensive play came right back to the forefront in the fifth inning with Anna Tingle pitching, who struck out two batters while the third and final out came on a dropped third strike that was thrown out at first.

Anna Yarbrough started the contest on the mound and allowed just two hits while striking out seven batters in her three-inning appearance.

The next day, Powhatan was right back on the field for a matchup with Amherst, who displayed the same brand of mistake-free defense that’s become a trademark of Powhatan’s. What resulted from it all was a low-scoring, yet thrilling finish that took a walk-off home run to find a victor. While terrific pitching efforts from McKenley Fox, Tingle and Yarbrough allowed Amherst just four hits all game, the last one proved to be the difference, with an inside the park walk-off home run giving Amherst a 3-2 victory.

On the offensive side, Powhatan finished with 13 hits on the day and were led by runs from Tingle and Yarbrough. Tingle’s run came at the top of the fourth inning, when Yarbrough nailed a line drive double to left field to score her teammate in. Yarbrough then reached home plate herself to level the score 2-2 at the top of the seventh thanks to a double from Shelby Reed on a line drive to right field.

Despite a tough loss, Powhatan had a chance for revenge the next day in yet another matchup with Amherst. Yet, in heartbreaking fashion, Powhatan was again the victim of a walk-off finish, this time in the eighth inning with an 8-5 score. Yarbrough pitched the whole game, tossing 11 strikeouts.

Amherst captured a 2-0 lead in the second, but Powhatan fought right back, scoring four runs from Izzie Chandler, Madison Jenkins, Kensley Blaska and Tingle in the third inning. Amherst then went up 5-4 after scoring three runs in the fourth inning, but Powhatan tied the game up in the sixth after Blaska scored again. After a scoreless seventh inning, Amherst captured the lead for the final time with a three-run RBI double to end Powhatan’s tournament run despite a truly admirable effort.

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