Don’t look now but a star is being born in Quitman. Actually her assent into stardom has been several years in the making but until this year her tremendous exploits had been recognized mainly just around Jackson Parish, with the exception being when she dominated a state tournament field a couple of summers ago.
That was when Cali Deal was playing for the Jackson Parish All-Stars in the 10U Little League state tournament in Vidalia, LA. It was there that the fire balling lefty so completely blitzed through the competition to lead her team to the state title that folks from all over north Louisiana took notice.
The Marucci Patriots 2025, an elite “travel ball” team based out of Jena, then came calling which fast-forwards to the last couple of weeks where the now 12 year old budding star has made herself known from Mississippi to Houston, TX.
It first began in Lake Charles, LA where Deal pitched a perfect game in the finals of the 12U Fastpitch American Softball Association (FASA) in mid-June leading her team to a 6-0 victory. She also picked up three additional wins without a loss during the tourney.
In all she pitched 16 total innings, gave up six hits and three earned runs, walked two and struck out 26, an average of 1.625 batters per innings. Deal was impressive with a bat in her hand also as she hit .400 and drove in 7 RBI.
Proof that she was now the talk of the travel ball circuit was proven this past weekend when one of Mississippi’s elite travel ball squads, Mississippi Gold, reached out to Deal to ask her to pitch for them in the nationally recognized Premier Triple Crown Tourney held in Houston, TX.
How did Deal fare in against some of the best in the nation? All she did was throw a no-hitter in the finals to once again pace her team to a title which would have been another perfect game were it not for a bobble made by a fielder that allowed a baserunner. For the tournament she threw 13 innings where she gave up just four hits and one earned run while striking out 20 and batted .385 with 8 runs scored and 7 RBI.
Overall, in the two tournaments that netted a state and regional title, Deal pitched two no hitters, gained five wins without a loss, tossed 29 innings and gave up only four earned runs. Offensively she hit .389, drove in 14 runs and scored eight.