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For some, World Series title ‘hasn’t sunk in yet’

Four members of the Dixie Softball World Series champion Halifax American Debs all-star team, Jennifer Lacks, Dalyn Hall, Kate Bane and Meg Bane, count a total of 32 series appearances between them, with all four winning their first World Series title in 2009 as Halifax American Belles all-stars.

VeVe Brandon, Jill Trickey and Tayler Mosley also were part of that Belles all-star team, now with two World Series championships to their credit after Wednesday’s 1-0 win over Winnsboro, Louisiana.

For five others, Jamilia Smith, Jameshia Smith, Courtney Epps, Lindsey Wilkins and Jessica Velazquez, the feeling of winning their very first World Series hasn’t sunk in quite yet.

A World Series title has been a long time coming, according to both Jameshia and Jamilia Smith.

“It feels good,” said Jamilia Smith, who had been to a number of World Series before finally winning one.

Smith, who had the game-winning base hit in her team’s 5-4 win over Arkansas the night before the championship game, said her team may have been a little nervous going into the championship game but added getting the early run settled them down.

“We were nervous at the beginning, but when we scored that run the nerves went away,” said Smith.

“We were focused, worked together and picked each other up,” said Jamilia Smith in explaining how the team meshed to win a championship.

All the pressure is off, now, she added.

Jameshia Smith agreed with her softball sister, admitting she felt a little sense of relief after finally winning a World Series after several tries.

“We had to stay focused at all times and stay together, and it’s a wonderful feeling to win one,” said Smith, who thought the team’s early run eased the pressure a little bit.

The team made solid defensive plays when they counted most, particularly the throw home by Meg Bane to Trickey in the fifth inning to keep Louisiana scoreless.

“Meg made an awesome play to the plate to keep that run from scoring, and people made awesome catches in the outfield,” noted Smith.

“We had to keep focused, not just one person but everybody,” she added.

Epps commented she was speechless at winning her first World Series, adding she didn’t think it has fully hit her yet.

Epps was part of the American Belles all-star team last year that finished in third-place at the Dixie Softball Belles World Series in South Hill.

That makes this championship all the sweeter, in her mind.

“This was my second World Series.  Last year, we had a chance at it, but South Hill was the better team,” explained Epps.

“This year, we were the best team there, and we had good competition.

“I think Louisiana was the best team we’d seen.”

“The last game was so stressful, but when the last out was made we were so excited, it was just amazing.”

“I loved the group of girls we had this year,” continued Epps.

“I knew we could do it.  Most of the girls on this team had already won a World Series, and this year we had a lot of pitching, strong bats and fast runners.

“That’s what put the team together.”

The Halifax American Debs compiled were undefeated in both the state tournament and the World Series, compiling a 5-0 mark in the state tournament and a 6-0 record in World Series play.