BRITTNEY LOHMILLER | THE NATCHEZ DEMOCRAT Katelynn Bertelsen of Vidalia High School prepares to swing at a pitch in the third inning of Vidalia’s playoff game against John Curtis Christian High School Friday evening. John Curtis defeated Vidalia 6-0.
BRITTNEY LOHMILLER | THE NATCHEZ DEMOCRAT
Katelynn Bertelsen of Vidalia High School prepares to swing at a pitch in the third inning of Vidalia’s playoff game against John Curtis Christian High School Friday evening. John Curtis defeated Vidalia 6-0.

Lady Vikings fall to No. 1 seed John Curtis

Published 12:04am Saturday, April 26, 2014

Vidalia — A 7-0 defeat to John Curtis Christian School fails to indicate just how competitive the Vidalia Lady Vikings were against the No. 1 seed in the second round of playoffs Friday night.

With Vidalia pitcher Taylor Rodgers on the mound, the Lady Vikings displayed a bend-but-don’t-break mentality entering the fourth inning in a scoreless tie.

Rodgers had five strikeouts and a one-hitter entering the inning, before giving up the first run of the game on a foul ball turned sacrifice fly.

“We played one of the top teams in Louisiana, and we went toe-to-toe with them,” Vidalia pitcher Gary Parnham said.

Rodgers, who was strong for most of the game, entered the fifth inning down 1-0, and that’s when everything started to unravel. With two runners on and two outs, Rodgers delivered a changeup that was lifted to deep left center by Katie Brignac, scoring two runs. Rachel Brockhaus drove home two more runs, and by the end of the inning, Vidalia was down 6-0. Suddenly, elimination from the playoffs was evident.

“It wasn’t necessarily errors, they just hit the ball,” Parnham said. “We were in it in the fifth inning, and that’s when they made things happen. But hey, that’s what great teams do.”

Offensively, Vidalia could never get any momentum against Brignac, who committed to play with the Memphis Tigers next season. Brignac finished the game with 19 strikeouts and threw a no-hitter.

Following the game, Parnham gathered his group and told them how proud he was of their effort.

“I tried to tell them to relish the situation and enjoy it,” Parnham said. “At times, we were too intense. But still, I’m very proud of the way my team played.”

With eight junior starters, Parnham immediately switched the narrative of Friday’s loss to next year’s potentially great season.

“That’s the thing I told them, those eight that are coming back know what they need to work on, and we’ve got to come back hungry,” Parnham said. “There’s no doubt in my mind that we can play with teams like this. It’s about getting them to believe they can.”

Vidalia finished the season with a 13-11 record.