Vidalia Nationals 11s and 12s top Vidalia Americans 15-9Published 12:07am Saturday, June 30, 2012
VIDALIA — Both Vidalia 11- and 12-year-old all-star teams already knew they were going to the state tournament when their game began Friday night, but that did not stop them from fighting for bragging rights.
The Vidalia American League and the Vidalia National League are the only two teams in their district, and both teams will qualify for the state tournament.
But they started their best-of-three series to determine the district champion Friday, and the Vidalia National League team managed to get a leg up on the series by winning the high-scoring affair 15-9.
“Well we won,” National League coach Wesley McCarver said. “We had quite a few errors, but we overcame that with the bats. We had a good short game and our bunts were successful. I was proud of the way we played in the heat.”
The Vidalia Americans jumped on top 2-0 after the top of the first when two unearned runs came around to score.
The Nationals took the lead for good in the bottom of the first frame with five runs. Singles by Shelby Vinet, Katlyn McCarver, MacKenzie Landers, Darby Beach and a double by Emilee Waltman highlighted the frame for the Nationals.
The Nationals added to the lead in the second inning with three runs on a hit, three walks and three American League errors.
The American League cut its deficit to five in the top of the third when Baylee Graning singled to lead off the inning and scored on a pass ball. The American League added another run in the fourth inning to cut the deficit to 8-4.
The National League answered with its second five-run inning of the game in the bottom of the fourth.
The National League got four-consecutive singles by Emily Rasco, Waltman, Caitlyn Ballard and Beach with one out in the inning. All four girls came around to score in the frame. Katlyn McCarver also scored to push the lead to 13-4.
The American League had a late run left and scored five runs in the top of the fifth to make the score 13-9. Harley Martin led the inning off with a single and would later score. Shelbi McManus, Peyton Roberson, and Kaitlin Dooley also singled and scored in the inning. Graning scored the fifth run of the inning after reaching on a walk.
But the National League answered with a big fifth inning of its own. Vinet singled and Landers and Rasco had back-to-back triples that led to two runs and a 15-9 advantage.
The National League held the American League in the top of the sixth to secure the win.
Katlyn McCarver was the winning pitcher for the National League.
American League coach Jay Gamberi said despite the loss he thought his team played well. He said now that the girls have game experience he expects them to be able to play with more composure.
“We learned we need to calm ourselves on big plays,” he said. “We have to make better throws and continue to jell.”
Wesley McCarver said getting to play the other Vidalia team in the district — and again in the first round of state — will help his team find its weaknesses against familiar foes.
“I was really proud of the other team too,” he said. “They played really well and hung with us. We both get to go to state and will get to play each other again the first game.”
The two teams will face off again for Game 2 at 6 p.m. today. If the American League team wins, Game 3 will follow Game 2.