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Lady Vikings hold on to beat Avoyelles 5-4

Ben Hillyer | The Natchez Democrat Vidalia High School’s Taylor Rodgers throws a pitch against Avoyelles High School Monday. Rodgers had eight strikeouts as she led the Lady Vikings to a 5-4 victory.
Ben Hillyer | The Natchez Democrat
Vidalia High School’s Taylor Rodgers throws a pitch against Avoyelles High School Monday. Rodgers had eight strikeouts as she led the Lady Vikings to a 5-4 victory.

Vidalia — The Vidalia High School Lady Vikings held on for a 5-4 victory Monday against Avoyelles High School thanks to Taylor Rodgers’ resilient performance.

Rodgers pitched seven innings with eight strikeouts, including one in the top of the seventh inning as Avoyelles was on the brink of a comeback after scoring three runs to make the score 5-4.

Rodgers stepped to the pitcher’s mound with a bloody lip after she tried to sprint to third base and was tagged out with a glove swipe to the face as she slid in the bottom of the sixth inning.

The junior was down for a while, but decided to close the game for the Lady Vikings. Rodgers toughened up and allowed no hits in the final inning to secure the win for Vidalia.

Vidalia head coach Gary Parnham Jr. said he was proud of Rodgers’ willingness to play through an injury and lead her team.

“Taylor had a busted lip, but she was tough and she was what I call a bulldog out there and she toughed it out for us,” Parnham said.

Laura Lemoine was the losing pitcher for Avoyelles as she pitched seven innings with three strikeouts.

The Lady Vikings allowed an early run in the top of the first inning, but their hot bats retaliated by tying the score 1-1 after the first on a single by Rodgers that resulted in a Cassie Gonzales run.

Vidalia came back in the bottom of the second inning with two runs capped off by Callie Burkett’s run off of Gonzales’ RBI, 3-1.

Vidalia started to cruise by Avoyelles with Katelin Temple scoring in the bottom of the third inning and Katelynn Bertelsen getting a run in the bottom of the fourth.

Parnham said the bats came alive Monday.

“That was key for us,” he said. “(We wanted) to jump on them quick. I loved our intensity on the field and at the plate for the fist five innings.”

But Lemoine came out in the bottom of the fifth inning giving up no hits with two strikeouts.

The defensive effort sparked an offensive sixth inning for the Lady Mustangs that started with a run by Lemoine, making the score 5-2.

Alyssa Gremillion and Karli McCaleb came in next on McCaleb’s hit that went trough the defense and errors allowed both players to get across home plate.

But Vidalia made up for the costly errors with solid fielding for the remainder of the game to hold on for the win.

The win made the Ldy Vikings 7-7, and Parnham said the team is starting to get in the groove.

“We started off slow but we’re coming together as a group,” Parnham said. “We’re focusing on not making so many errors and driving through the ball.”

Vidalia will play at 5 p.m. Thursday Caldwell Parish High School.

 

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