Fielding mistakes prove costly as Vidalia loses close game
VIDALIA — The cliché of “whoever makes the least amount of mistakes will win” proved all too true for Vidalia High School Thursday night.
Unfortunately for the Lady Vikings, it was Vidalia that committed untimely errors in a 3-0 loss to Jena High School, which is ranked No. 4 in LHSAA Class 3A.
“If you’re in a tight ball game, just one error can be the difference in the ball game,” Vidalia softball coach Gary Parnham Jr. said. “A lot of it’s mental stuff, but it’s very crucial to play error-free softball in tight ball games, especially because it could be the difference in the ball game.”
Vidalia starting pitcher Laura Perilloux took the loss but had a very strong outing on the mound. Only one of the three runs she yielded were earned, and she limited Jena to five hits while striking out three and issuing no walks in seven innings of work. The outing was a bit of a surprise for the Lady Vikings’ lone senior, who said warm-ups didn’t leave her with a good feeling.
“Honestly, in warm-ups, nothing went too great, and the other day I had a long session with my dad, because some things had been off,” Perilloux said. “But when I got on the mound, everything came together. But my curve — my favorite pitch — wasn’t working, so I had to find another pitch to get it done with.”
That pitch was a two-seam, outside fastball.
“It was breaking more than my curve usually does,” Perilloux said.
After three scoreless innings, Jena got on the board in the top of the fourth. A throwing error on a potential play at second sailed into the outfield, allowing Kelsey Bradford to score from second.
Jena added another unearned run in the top of the sixth inning when Kourtney Bacle singled in Kenzie Thompson, who earlier reached on a throwing error.
Perilloux managed to keep her composure throughout the game despite the errors around her.
“As a younger player, (fighting through errors) is something I struggled with,” Perilloux said. “But now, it’s happened so many times — not necessarily on this team, but through the years — that I’ve gotten tough enough to where I just bow up and it’s on me. It’s not anyone else’s fault; it’s just me and the batter.”
Jena scored its final run in the top of the seventh when an RBI single by Jazz Richardson sent home Braegan Burlew.
Parnham said he thought Perilloux pitched a great game and was pleased that his senior hurler had the Jena batters guessing where the ball was going.
“She hit her spots well,” Parnham said. “She’s worked hard to do that, and she’s pitched well all season. I can’t say anything but positive things about the way she pitched — she pitched well enough to win a ball game.”
Jena starter Macy Greer got the win, going five innings and surrendering just three hits. She had three strikeouts and two walks. Bacle pitched two perfect innings for the save. No one for Vidalia had more than one hit.
“They’ve got great pitching,” Parnham said. “They have about four- or five-deep pitching, and they spot well and move the ball around and change speeds on you. That’s tough on a hitter. It puts you in a spot where you’re trying to guess, and that’s a bad thing if you’re a hitter trying to guess what pitch is coming.”
Perilloux said she was pleased that she and her teammates hung with the No. 4-ranked team in 3A, even if the Lady Vikings came up short.
“It definitely shows that we have that potential to play that well, and we just need to show it more often,” Perilloux said. “We showed fight in that game.”
Vidalia (14-8-1) will host Franklin Parish at 5:30 p.m. today.