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Angels face South Carolina first

South Boston News
Members of the Virginia Angels state champions include, from left, first row, Tori Lewis, Madison Watkins, Sarah Gordon and Susanna Watts.Second row, Kayla Spencer, Kaitlyn Richardson, Hailey Marable, Autumn Younger, Gracie Wagstaff. Third row, coach Mike Chandler, Chloe Loftis, Claudia Marable and coach Cleve Wagstaff. Not pictured, manager Raymond Duffer and Amanda Duffer. / August 01, 2013
The Halifax National X-play Angels begin their World Series adventure Saturday, with another local group of softball fans on hand to help elevate team spirit.

The potent Halifax American Darlings are also headed to the same town, Alexandria, La., for World Series play.

The National X-play Angels, representing Virginia, meet the South Carolina champions at 1:30 p.m. Saturday.

“If we play like we did in the state, we’re going to be OK. We went undefeated in the state,” coach Mike Chandler said.

This is a new experience for the National X-play Angels, who generally have had a tough time getting past the Halifax Americans in district play.

“We put together a good team this year, and we’ve always been the underdogs. Not this year. We went to the state and went undefeated,” said Chandler.

The local all-stars will rely on several pitchers, including Gracie Wagstaff, who has speed, consistency, and dedication. Autumn Younger and Amanda Duffer should also see action on the mound.

“Autumm has got a good pitch. She’s consistent. She doesn’t have the speed that Gracie has, but she’s consistent, and so does Amanda. That may be an advantage to us with an off-speed (pitcher). It’s all about timing,” said Chandler.

The locals also showcased strong hitting at the state.

“We were kind of worried about our hitting, but it came through for us. Our infield defense is awesome,” added Chandler.

Wagstaff can play first, if she’s not pitching, and Madison Watkins plays second. Kaitlyn Richardson is at shortstop and Amanda Duffer is at third. Autumn Younger will switch out with Wagstaff.

The players and coaches are very excited about the World Series trip. Also, five players on this team have travel ball experience, which is always helpful when all-star clubs reach this level. The group includes Younger, Wagstaff, Sarah Gordon, Duffer and Richardson.

“These girls have come together this year. They’ve shown dedication. They’ve given us their whole summer. It’s amazing how far they’ve come and how well disciplined they are on the field,” said Chandler.

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