CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WWBT) – Big sports news is coming out of Chesterfield County as some of the youngest athletes will soon be in the national spotlight.
The Chesterfield All-Stars Softball team, mainly consisting of 13-year-olds, is heading to the 2022 Little League World Series for the second year in a row.
It’s an experience that not many athletes get to see for themselves, let alone experience twice.
“Just getting there one time is a monumental feat. You have over 4,000 Little League teams across America,” First Base Coach Sean Viruet said. “Just to get there one time, it’s like winning the lottery.”
Last year, the girls put Virginia on the map for youth softball after making it to the World Series Final.
“The world saw that Virginia can play some good ball, too,” Viruet said.
The Chesterfield All-Stars are running it back, thanks to help from some veteran players.
“This year, I’ve learned that you can’t be nervous, and you just have to do you,” Pitcher Kaylee Hodges said.
“I’ve been playing with most of these people since I was maybe seven years old,” Catcher Isabella Viruet said.
Hodges and Viruet competed at the highest level in the Little League World Series last year and are eager to do it again.
“It was pretty cool to know that we are getting another chance at this when most people don’t even get just one chance,” Isabella Viruet said.
This season the girls battled through districts and won the state title. Then, the team moved on to regionals beating Florida and barely getting by against North Carolina.
“We knew that, ‘Oh my God, anything can happen, we’re in the last inning,’ you know,” Coach Viruet said.
North Carolina couldn’t hold on, and the Chesterfield All-Stars were named Southeast Region Champs.
“I felt like a kid again,” Coach Viruet said.
The team will travel to Greenville, NC, next week for the big contest, and they say they aren’t intimidated.
“A lot of people when they talk about softball, they talk about California, they talk about Texas, they talk about Oregon, Florida. Well, Virginia plays some good softball, too,” Coach Viruet said.
“My favorite thing about softball is how hard you have to work at it and the challenges that you face, not even just like during the game, but in real life,” Hodges said. “It helps you get better, and it pushes you.”
To watch the Chesterfield All-Stars, tune in on August 10 at 7 p.m. on EPSN+.
They will play the winner of North Carolina vs. California.
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