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Natchez advances, Vidalia gets eliminated

NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. — After a nearly three-hour weather delay, the Natchez 11- and 12-year-old All-Stars and the Georgia All-Stars finally took to the field Monday afternoon in the first round of the 2014 Ponytails Traditional World Series.

The state champions from Mississippi played well for two innings, but Georgia broke through with nine runs in the bottom of the third inning and ended up taking a 14-7 victory.

“The first two innings, Georgia didn’t do much. The third inning, they started hitting the ball,” Natchez head coach Kendra McIntosh said. “Our girls were a little intimidated. Their players were so big. I think after the third inning, they shook it off and started playing better. But it was too late.”

Natchez responded with four runs in the top of the fourth inning and then tacked on three more runs in the top of the fifth to make it an 11-7 game, but Georgia answered with three runs in the bottom of the fifth to give them some much-needed breathing room.

Natchez had one last chance at a rally when it had two runners on base with a single and a walk, but those two runners were left stranded.

“Our girls played good. But they know they can play a lot better,” McIntosh said. “They got the jitters out of them.”

Georgia scored two runs in the bottom of the first inning off losing pitcher Carleigh Sproulls, who got the start for Natchez. Raegin Flanning got the win for Georgia.

Drue Boyd and Jayde Haller each had a base hit for the Natchez 11-12s while Georgia had several players with base hits.

Natchez will take on the loser of Game 9, which was to be played later on in the day, at 5 p.m. local time today in an elimination game.

Texas West 17, Vidalia 14-year-olds 5

SANTA FE, N.M. — It took one rough inning for the Texas West All-Stars to turn a close game into a blowout as they defeated the Vidalia 14-year-old All-Stars 17-5 in five innings to eliminate the Louisiana state champions from the 2014 Southwest Regional Tournament.

“We had one bad inning. They scored eight runs in the bottom of the second inning,” head coach Wesley McCarver said. “That was what really broke our backs.”

Vidalia scored four runs in the top of the third inning to cut the deficit to 10-4, but Texas West didn’t take long to get its lead back to double digits and eventually 10-run rule Vidalia.

“We had one good inning where we hit the ball well. Then they started hitting the ball again. We just had a bad day. It happens,” McCarver said. “But I’m proud of the girls for the effort they gave. We had some excellent defensive plays. The other team just hit the ball well.”

Vidalia 14-year-olds 20, Los Alamos, N.M. 4

SANTA FE, N.M. — The Vidalia 14-year-old All-Stars, representing Louisiana as its state champions, needed just five innings to eliminate tournament host Los Alamos, N.M., 20-4 Sunday afternoon at the Southwest Regional Tournament.

Starting and winning pitcher Emily Rasco went two innings and got plenty of run support, including a three-run home run from Shauneisha Crumpton. Bailey Yates came on in relief and pitched the final three innings.

“Pitching was great. No errors. We hit the ball really good,” McCarver said. “We played a lot of small ball, with a lot of bunting, lot of base stealing. Numerous girls had doubles.”

As for how well the duo of Rasco and Yates did on the mound, McCarver said, “They did good. Emily, they couldn’t do anything off her. She was hitting her spots. Bailey came on in relief and pitched a good game. They got a couple of hits off her.”

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