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Vikings softball finding offensive rhythm after slow start

Ben Hillyer / The Natchez Democrat — Vidalia’s Kennedy Beard reaches to catch the pop-up fly ball near home plate Monday evening against Caldwell Parish. The Lady Vikings have found an offensive pace and will look to improve on defensive skills for the upcoming games.

VIDALIA — The Vidalia High School softball team had little trouble scoring runs last week, and head coach Gary Parnham said that his team’s approach at the plate is what is producing offense for the Lady Vikings.

“I think we’re getting a little more aggressive, which is a good thing,” Parnham said. “We’re not taking third strikes and that’s the biggest difference.”

The Lady Vikings scored 62 runs and pounded out 60 hits in five games last week (4-1), and Parnham said he thinks his players are starting to come into their own offensively after a slow start.

“At the beginning of the season we didn’t have a whole lot of time to get outside because of the weather,” Parnham said. “In our first game we hadn’t seen live pitching but one time. I think that had a lot to do with it. I had a feeling we had a little better hitting team than we showed earlier in the year.”

Parnham said some of his team’s success scoring runs last week was due to some luck because their opponents had some defensive issues.

“We popped a lot up in the infield (against Marksville),” he said. “I was a little disappointed, but you’re going to have bad games. Our thing is to stay positive.”

That positive attitude starts with Parnham and he said he has confidence in Vidalia’s ability to keep scoring.

“I think we have potential to be a very good hitting ball club,” he said. “A lot of our freshmen have stepped up and contributed.”

Parnham said his biggest worry right now is with the Lady Vikings’ defense.

“We have got to make sure we make the routine plays and get routine outs and not give teams extra outs in an inning,” he said. “That’s what I harp on them every day.”

Parnham believes if the Lady Vikings (9-5) continue to improve on defense and get solid pitching and hitting that they will have a successful season.

“I think the sky is the limit for this team,” he said. “We have enough youth and enough experience. If we can gel and come together and continue to get better I don’t see any reason we can’t make the playoffs.”

Cathedral softball

The Cathedral softball team spent last week on the practice diamond instead of playing games.

The Lady Green Wave had cancellations due to weather and scheduling issues, and went almost an entire week without playing a game.

“(Missing games) is not good,” Cathedral coach Gary Blackwell said. “It comes a time when you get so much practice that the girls are ready to play ad tired of practicing. We are ready to play some ball games because when you get to playing games you get in a rhythm.”

Cathedral finally was able to play a couple games Saturday against Terry at the Warren Central Tournament, but even those were abbreviated.

The Lady Green Wave won the first game 3-0 in five innings, and the two teams ended up tied at three runs a piece in the second game after the time limit expired at the end of the fourth inning.

Blackwell said it was nice to finally get on the field and play a couple of games, and he expects his team to be excited about going to Gulf Shores, Ala., today to play games in a spring break tournament.

“I think they are all so upbeat about being out of school for spring break and excited about being able to go to Gulf Shores, play a little ball and have a little fun,” Blackwell said.

Blackwell said during the week off from games Cathedral (4-1-1) worked on hitting and defense with their routine practices, and tried to keep the pitchers throwing to keep them sharp.

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