Vidalia sweeps top state awards for baseball, softball

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, June 17, 2003

Written for the LSWA

After the girls won the Class 2A state softball title, the then-undefeated Vidalia Vikings headed into the state baseball tournament two weeks later dreaming of a sweep.

The baseball team ran into a surging St. Frederick squad in the semifinals and left their hopes of matching titles in Baton Rouge, but that didn’t keep Vidalia from winning all four top awards the Louisiana Sports Writers Association hands out on its Class 2A All-State teams.

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Lady Viking pitcher Miranda Doughty and Viking counterpart Barry Bowden were voted Outstanding Player on the LSWA squads.

VHS softball coach Gary Paul Parnham and baseball coach Johnny Hoffpauir also earned Coach of the Year honors from a panel of sportswriters who voted to select the teams.

Bowden is a second-year recipient of the baseball MVP honors and the fourth at Vidalia since 1996.

This season, Bowden was 12-0 with an 0.58 ERA. He walked just eight batters all season and struck out 135. The senior is a Southern Mississippi signee who also had a .393 batting average with nine home runs and 36 RBIs.

The Vikings finished 27-1, its only loss a 12-1 drop in the semifinals.

Hoffpauir has taken his team to the state tournament four times since Class 2A went to the tournament format in 1996, the only public school team to make the trip more than twice. His squad won four tournaments and the District 3-2A title in its undefeated regular season.

Doughty pitched three shutouts in the state tournament in Sulphur and allowed just one batter to make it as far as third base.

She finished her season with a 13-2 record and struck out 136 batters in 111 innings, including 28 in 21 innings at the tournament. She also had a 0.42 ERA and worked her way into the starting role after holding the No. 2 spot last season.

Parnham, who last took at team to the state tournament in 1998, coached a team that was ended the regular season ranked No. 2 in the state and allowed just two runs in the five-game playoffs.

Seven softball teams put two players on the 17-member All-State team including Vidalia, Episcopal, South Beauregard, North DeSoto, Loyola, Port Barre and Crowville.

On the baseball team, only five teams had multiple players on the LSWA team with Vidalia, Kinder, Oakdale, Ouachita Christian and Riverside each placing two athletes at positions.