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No 'softball' teams remain - it's only the best left and the team from Niceville has proven they belong.

The Niceville-Valparaiso Junior League Softball Team has been making waves at the Junior World Series of Softball. They’ll handle their last group play game Wednesday and have already secured a spot in the single elimination round, a feat no other team from Niceville has achieved.

So far in this tournament, the Niceville team displayed incredible determination and resilience. They faced a formidable opponent from Bago City, Philippines, resulting in their only loss in the contest. However, they bounced back with two epic come-from-behind victories, guaranteeing their position in the next stage.

In their second game, the team demonstrated their fighting spirit by mounting a stunning comeback from a seven-run deficit to secure a thrilling 9-8 victory against the Central Region team. They continued to impress by overcoming a 4-0 deficit to defeat Canada 5-4 in another thrilling match.

The Niceville-Valparaiso team comprises talented middle schoolers from both communities, and their dedication and teamwork have been on full display throughout the tournament. Coach Sarah Carnello praised her players, saying, “We’ve had some nail-biters. I think us coaches collectively told the girls, ‘please don’t ever do that again.’ I don’t think my heart can handle it. It just shows you the fight they have in them. The girls have been extremely tough. And they showed a lot of grit and fight.”
The team’s outstanding performance has earned them a spot in the next round, where they will face a team from Washington on August 2nd. As the single elimination phase begins on August 3rd, the Niceville team will be vying for a chance to compete in the championship game on August 5th. Win or lose; they will return to Niceville on Sunday, August 6th – more than likely on the red-eye flight.

The community is rallying behind their hometown heroes, and the girls’ determination has inspired residents to follow their journey closely. The Niceville-Valparaiso Junior League Softball Team has not only showcased their athletic abilities but has also shown the true spirit of sportsmanship and camaraderie, making their community incredibly proud.
As the excitement builds and the team takes on the next challenges, the entire city of Niceville and Valparaiso will be cheering them on with unwavering support. The young athletes have already etched their names in the history books, and they are determined to leave a lasting legacy as they continue their journey in the Junior World Series of Softball.

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