The Virginia Legends were handcuffed for one game but then broke loose to win the USSSA Women’s Fast-Pitch Softball World Series July 29 in Botetourt County, near Roanoke.
The comeback against a 12-team field gave the Legends their sixth national title. It was their first time playing in this event. They previously had captured four 23-and-under ASA National championships and one ASA Women’s National crown.
It was a different story in the finals. The Legends made adjustments at the plate and soundly defeated the previously unbeaten Pride twice — first by 6-0 and then 9-1.
One of the big plays in the championship game came when outfielder Trena Peel crashed into the center-field fence in robbing the Pride of a three-run home run.
Peel, Hampton University’s women’s softball coach, was selected as the tournament’s offensive MVP. Other honorees for the Legends were third baseman Sami Fagan of Missouri, the overall tournament MVP, and Mackenzie Audas of the University of Central Florida, the pitching MVP.
Peel, a former standout at LSU and later an all-pro twice, was playing with the Legends for the first time. Other players from the area on the team were Virginia Beach’s Heather Dunning, Miranda Paul and Haley Ward.
The team is coached by the Peninsula’s Bobby Wills, Joe Woolsey, Craig Smith and Tim Moore.
Margaret Williams of the Coast Guard Blue Dolphins played an instrumental role in helping the Virginia Swimming all-star team take third place in the Eastern Zone Long Course Age Group Championships in Richmond.
Williams, competing in the 13-14 age group, anchored the winning 400-meter freestyle relay, swam the opening leg on the winning 200 free relay, and anchored the 400 medley relay that placed fourth. She topped her individual showing by placing third in the 100 free in 60.44 seconds and and fifth in the 50 free in 27.90.
The four-day meet ended Saturday and included 10 zone teams representing states from Virginia to Maine. The Middle Atlantic all-stars came out on top with 1,353.5 points, while Potomac Valley finished second (1,197) and Virginia Swimming third (845).
Brieanna Romney of the South Eastern Virginia Aquatics (SEVA) Seahawks made a good showing in the highly competitive meet, which included up to 70 and 80 swimmers in some events. Competing in the 10-and-under division, she placed fifth in the 50 butterfly (34.25) and anchored the fifth-place 200 medley relay and sixth-place 200 free relay.
Kade Younger of the Blue Dolphins, 11-12s, placed fifth in the 100 fly and seventh in the 50 fly, while Stephen Kuster was fifth in the 200 breaststroke.
Eighth-place finishes went to Jeremy Uniszkiewicz, 11-12s, in the 400 individual medley; Alexandra Slayton, 11-12s, 50 backstroke; and Cole Younger, 10U, 100 fly.
Playing nearly the entire game in a steady rain Saturday night didn’t bother the Virginia Crusaders. Instead, they took advantage of one mistake after another by the Carolina Stallions in the slippery conditions to notch a team-record-high 71-0 win at Wanner Stadium in Williamsburg.
From the start, it was raining touchdowns for the Crusaders, who are 3-1 in Mason-Dixon League play. They scored on their first play from scrimmage on a 60-yard run by Isaiah Wigfall, then quickly added two more TDs on a 40-yard fumble return by Anthony Hall and a 20-yard pass from Andre McGlone to Scorpio Brown for a 20-0 lead in the first quarter.
The flood of touchdowns continued in the second quarter as the Crusaders amassed a 52-0 cushion. This followed scores by Brown on a 20-yard fumble return, a 30-yard pass from McGlone to Shawn Jackson, a 4-yard fumble return by Mtyari Robinson and a 4-yard run by Robinson.