Crozet’s Peachtree 12U Softball team experienced an unparalleled season, setting a number of records and securing the program’s first-ever Babe Ruth State Championship following a 7-0 state tournament win in Manassas in early July. This win marked the team’s first state title following two seasons finishing in the runner-up position. The team followed up the state victory by winning the Southeast Regional tournament in New Bern, North Carolina.
The team is made up of twelve outstanding players and an exceptional coaching staff consisting of manager Shawn Bird and coaches Carrie Heilman, Ken Notari, and Matt Hines.
The All Stars were led at the plate by Samia Bird and Gwyn Davis, the both girls claiming first and second place respectively in team RBIs, which is the number of runs a player has scored by hitting the ball in a way that allows a runner on base to advance to home plate and score a run. Over the course of the seven tournament games, Bird registered 15 hits in 20 at bats (7 were extra-base hits) and scored a team-high 13 runs. Davis knocked an impressive 9 RBIs.
A few of the team’s other highest-ranking batters were Katherine Heilman, Gia Hines, and Hayden Dodson, and other notable pitchers were Olivia Notari and Stella Wolfe.
Another incredible feat that the Peachtree team claimed was pitcher Katherine Heilman’s recognition as the Most Outstanding Player for the state tournament. Keilman struck out 20 of 21 batters and didn’t give up a hit, solidifying her place as one of the most promising emerging pitchers in the Central Virginia area.
A week after winning the Babe Ruth state title, the All Stars traveled to New Bern to compete in the Southeast Regional tournament, where they once again swept the field and were crowned with the first-place title. The Peachtree players went 7-0 in both tournaments, outscoring opponents 89-15.
The coaching staff said of the season, “The team would like to thank the volunteer coaches, the parents who supported the players with countless trips to and from the ball fields, and all those in the Crozet community who made contributions that helped fund the team’s travels to Regionals.”
The team as a whole would also like to recognize Peachtree League president Cheryl Madison and softball vice president Allie Pesch for all the work they did to help the All Star team on their road to success this season.
Over the course of the next few years, many of the players will be aging out of the Peachtree League and plan to continue their careers by adding to the rising success of Western Albemarle High School’s softball program.