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Softball notebook: Losses give area softball teams wake-up calls

JAY SOWERS | THE NATCHEZ DEMOCRAT — Vidalia High School base runner Gracyn Nelson, right, bumps fists with base coach Gary Parnham Sr. after collecting a hit during the game Friday evening in Vidalia.
JAY SOWERS | THE NATCHEZ DEMOCRAT — Vidalia High School base runner Gracyn Nelson, right, bumps fists with base coach Gary Parnham Sr. after collecting a hit during the game Friday evening in Vidalia.

VIDALIA — The Lady Vikings started last week off with a big 25-0 win against LHSAA District 3-3A opponent Marksville High School.

The Vidalia softball team followed it up with a 3-0 loss to Jena High School, which is ranked No. 4 in Class 3A, Thurday before rebounding with a 7-3 win against non-district opponent Franklin Parish High School.

As of Thursday, head coach Gary Parnham Jr. said his team was ranked No. 19 in power points in Class 3A — good enough to get into the playoffs, but not high enough for homefield advantage. Teams have to be in the top 16 to have homefield in the first round.

“We would basically have to beat Buckeye and beat Avoyelles (this week) to probably get up in the top 15 or 16, but that’s just my thinking,” Parnham said. “We’ll see where that Jena loss made us fall probably (today) or Tuesday.”

Every team in Vidalia’s district is in the top 32, which makes for a tough conference schedule for the Lady Vikings. But Parnham said that only helps better prepare his team for postseason play.

“It speaks to how tough our district is,” Parnham said. “It should definitely (help prepare us), because we’ve been facing some pretty good pitching.”

Cathedral High School

NATCHEZ — A 5-0 loss at St. Aloysius this past Tuesday helped serve as a wake-up call for the Cathedral softball team (9-4-1, 1-1), head coach Gary Blackwell said.

“It was one of those games where nothing was working,” Blackwell said. “We were really flat, and we just couldn’t do anything — hit, catch, nothing. They only had one earned run against us, and we made about four or five errors.”

Cathedral spent last Wednesday and Thursday at practice trying to fine-tune things, and Blackwell said he was happy with how his players responded.

“The team realized we just had a flat day and needed to get back together,” Blackwell said. “Bogue Chitto lost the same night to West Lincoln, so now we’re all 1-1 in district and it’s like a whole new season.”

Cathedral will have to fight through going a week without a game when it travels to West Lincoln Tuesday.

“It’s never good not to be playing, and you can only practice so much,” Blackwell said. “But the other teams aren’t doing any practicing either. I think we’ll be ready.”