By Suzy Kridner
NEW SMYRNA BEACH - After winning the state championship, then coming in fourth in the regionals, a team of dedicated softball players are heading to the Babe Ruth 16U Softball World Series.
By winning the state championship earlier this summer, Coach Dragon Nazdam and his team earned a berth in the Babe Ruth World Series which runs Aug. 9-14 in Wilson County, N.C.
While the undefeated Lady Cudas obliterated their opponents 31-4 in the state tourney, they had four wins and three losses in the Southeast Regional Tournament, said Coach Nadzam.
It all started four years ago when New Smyrna Beach and Edgewater had a little softball program for girls ranging from 8-16 years old. These girls would play on the same fields against each other.
From that beginning, A.T. Marucci from the New Smyrna Beach Parks and Recreation Department, along with Southeast Volusia Babe Ruth and Coach Dragon Nadzam, have put together a championship winning Fast Pitch Softball program for local girls revolving around their age.
The Southeast Volusia 16U Lady Cudas finished their regular season 14-0.
They started the road to the World Series June 22 in Jacksonville when they won the Babe Ruth District 1 Championship.
Members of the team are Brandi Algieri (SS), Brittany Daily (C), Dehlia Slizyk (1B), Kaytlyn Peeples (CF), Megan Foss (LF), Ashton Sigler (3B), Dakota Clark (RF), Kyra Nadzam (P), Dallas Hull (2B), along with Head Coach Dragon Nadzam, Assistant Coach Ronald Hull.
It takes a lot of money to travel to the various tournaments so the team is raising funds for their trip to the World Series. Funds can be sent to Southeast Volusia Babe Ruth League, care of the A.T. Marucci, 210 Sams Ave., New Smyrna Beach, FL 32168.