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Softball notebook: Young Viking team looks to grow up fast

submitted photo — Vidalia High School’s Taylor Rodgers connects with a pitch during the Lady Vikings’ game Friday against Natchitoches High School at the Jena High School Tournament in Jena, La.
submitted photo — Vidalia High School’s Taylor Rodgers connects with a pitch during the Lady Vikings’ game Friday against Natchitoches High School at the Jena High School Tournament in Jena, La.

VIDALIA — After dropping a game against Natchitoches High School in the Jena High School Tournament Friday, the Lady Vikings rebounded to win two Saturday.

The wins against Block and LaSalle high schools propelled Vidalia to a 10-6 record overall. With key district games against Avoyelles and Caldwell Parish high schools this week, head coach Gary Parnham Jr. said his team would have to take care of business on the defensive side during these remaining games.

“Right now, our youth is showing,” Parnham said. “We started the season well, and right now we’ve gone through a spell where we’re making a lot of defensive mistakes. I think we’ve had somewhere between 19 and 20 errors the last four or five ball games, and we can’t let that happen. To play in the district we’re playing in, we have to correct those mistakes.”

Vidalia has already played three district games, and Parnham said his team will have to win out against teams that are evenly matched with his.

“We’re in situations where, right now, we have to win ball games that we’re supposed to win or have chances to win,” Parnham said.

If there’s one strength of the team, Parnham said, it’s been the pitching tandem of Laura Perriloux and Taylor Rodgers

“Pitching has not been a problem at all,” he said. “We’re getting good outings from them both. Our issue has been defense, and we’re making mistakes on routine plays right now, and we’ve got to correct that.”

Cathedral High School

NATCHEZ — After a comeback win against Brookhaven High School last Thursday, the Lady Green Wave take a week off from action before opening regional play against West Lincoln Thursday.

“I think we’re looking pretty good, especially if we continue to play like we did (against Brookhaven),” Cathedral head coach Gary Blackwell said. “We’ve had our ups and downs, but if the bats keep going like they were earlier in the season — and the last couple of games — I think we’ll be fine.”

Mollie Devening continues to be the go-to pitcher in the starting rotation, and Blackwell said he also expects No. 2 starter Elizabeth Smith to get more innings going forward. A hip injury kept Smith off the mound for a couple of weeks, but Blackwell said he was impressed with her performance in the team’s junior varsity game against Brookhaven.

“She did really well,” he said. “She said she’s ready to go. We have to get her some work in this next week, and I think she’ll definitely be able to help us if we need her for sure.”

Cathedral is currently 7-2-1 on the season.

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