July 9, 2012
The Jefferson Area Girls Softball All-Stars are headed to the Little League State Tournament for the second year in a row.
The team made the State Tournament last season but fell in the first round. They plan on using that experience to motivate them this year.
"It was really exciting and now that we get to do it again it's like we can do better. We can learn from what happened last year and try to improve this year," pitcher Emily McAllister explained.
"We're super excited," outfielder Jackie Hoege added. "We think we can do well at States and so we're trying to prepare for the tougher end of States and then Regionals."
The team is comprised of a dozen girls aged 13-16 from Albemarle and other local schools.
They won the District 14 Championship last Friday and head coach Harold Hoege has enjoyed what he's seen this season.
"It's fantastic. It's absolutely rewarding. This group of girls is a real team of equals and it's a lot of fun to come out and see them play the game, in my opinion, the right way and playing for one another. It's really gratifying to be around."
Most of the girls say they've been playing softball with one another since they were young, so chemistry is certainly not an issue.
"Yeah we've played with each other for as long as I can remember so it's just really fun being out here with all our friends and working hard to play the game because we all love it," Jackie Hoege said.
The team's first game is Friday in Richmond.
"These girls know how to work hard and play hard. And so when it's time to work on a softball task, they're one hundred percent dialed in," Harold Hoege said.