Watson delivers for VHS in split

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, April 15, 2003

VIDALIA, La. &045; After two strikes with the score tied, the bases loaded and two outs, Jenny Watson dug in.

Here was the best shot for the Vidalia Lady Vikings to break the game open against Block in the second game of Tuesday’s doubleheader and offer her team a little redemption after it lost the first one.

Watson battled and fouled off three pitches off Block pitcher Amy Bruit. Then when the pitch she wanted finally came, Watson drove it down the left field line to score two for a 5-3 Vidalia win in the second of two five-inning games.

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&uot;I knew if I didn’t do it, it was the last chance,&uot; said Watson, whose liner went over the glove of Block third baseman Lauren Barton to score Ashley Prince and Lauren Clayton.

&uot;I was trying to foul off the bad pitches because I wouldn’t be able to drive it. Finally she pitched one down the middle, and I got a good drive on it. We didn’t want to lose to this team three times (this season). We’re trying to come together as a team right now.&uot;

Watson’s shot broke the game open, and she came back in the top of the fifth to retire the side in order to end the game. The Lady Bears (14-10) put two runs on the board in the fourth inning to tie it up before the Lady Vikings rallied.

Prince led off the fourth with a single and went to second on Clayton’s bunt single, and both moved up on an error on a ball hit by Emily Raley before Watson came to bat.

&uot;She battles now,&uot; Vidalia head coach Gary Paul Parnham said. &uot;She’s one of our team leaders. I’ve got four seniors, and they’re our team leaders. But I expect that from her. I’ve had her for four years, and she’s done it every year. You’re talking about a career batting average of .386. She’s one of my top dogs.&uot;

Watson’s shot put a damper on what could have been an outstanding day for the Lady Bears. The winner in the first meeting between the two teams, the Lady Bears were solid in the second game before coming back from a 3-1 deficit in the second to tie it up.

In the fourth Lauren Barton tripled and scored on an Ashley Brown single. Brown scored on an error on a ball hit by Glynda Butts to tie it up.

&uot;We did a good job of getting back in it,&uot; Block head coach Kerry Kirby said. &uot;We came back, and one hit beat us. We won two of three of the games with them, so we feel privileged. Vidalia has a really good team this year.&uot;

Block’s rally, however, was part of a subpar day for the Lady Vikings, who had just three hits in the first game. The doubleheader was meant as a tune-up for the playoffs, and the Lady Vikings struggled at times against the 1A Lady Bears.

&uot;I’m not trying to take anything away from Block, but I don’t feel we played our best games here today,&uot; Parnham said. &uot;We had a couple errors that almost cost us and a couple critical calls that almost cost us.

&uot;I blame it on prom. Prom is Friday, and maybe we weren’t as focused as we should have been. Those things shouldn’t affect us come playoff time, and playoff time is here. We should be clicking on all cylinders right now.&uot;

The Lady Vikings took advantage of four Block miscues in the second inning to put their first runs on the board. Christy Corley and Clayton each reached on an error, and they both scored when a single to left by Kelsey Leake got by the left fielder.

The ball rolled to the fence, and Leake came around for an inside-the-park homer.

&uot;We had two or three errors there, and things got away from us,&uot; Kirby said. &uot;We just didn’t do our job. We’ve done that earlier this season, but we haven’t done that lately.&uot;

Butts, a sophomore, kept the Lady Vikings quiet in the first game while throwing the shutout. Miranda Doughty allowed just three hits, but Block got a run in the third when Dawn Littleton scored.

&uot;Block has a good team,&uot; Parnham said. &uot;They’re fundamentally sound have have good pitching. I thought Miranda pitched a good game, and I thought Jenny pitched a good game. We’re not hitting the ball real well, but we’re not a ball club that will bang you to death. We’ll have to lay down bunts and manufacture runs.&uot;