Vidalia softball comeback falls just short

Published 12:46 am Saturday, July 17, 2010

SHREVEPORT, La. — The Vidalia 9-10-year-old softball All-Stars rallied from an eight-run deficit to tie the game at 14-14 heading into the bottom of the fifth inning.

Unfortunately, Blanchard batted last and scored the one run it needed to as it defeated Vidalia 15-14 Friday night in a Louisiana Little League State Tournament game that lasted nearly three grueling hours in excruciating heat.

Vidalia 9-10s coach Wesley McCarver compared this near-comeback to the one in which it rallied from an early 12-0 deficit to defeat Avoyelles 16-15 on its way to winning the district championship.

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“We fought back hard. We never gave up,” McCarver said. “We walked too many batters. Our pitchers had trouble finding the plate.”

Even though Vidalia’s bats finally got going in the latter stages of the game, McCarver said his team got too far behind.

“I’m proud of them. Couldn’t ask for more,” he said.

The Vidalia 9-10-year-old All-Stars will take on Shreveport in an elimination game today at 7 p.m.

Vidalia 13-14s 20, Blanchard 0 (5 innings)

JONESBORO, La. — Taylor Rodgers and Taylor Perkins combined to pitch a one-hit shutout as the Vidalia 13-14-year-old softball All-Stars annihilated Blanchard Friday night in the first round of the Louisiana Little League State Tournament.

“My two pitchers, Taylor and Taylor, did an excellent job. Strong pitching and strong defense is what did it for us,” Vidalia 13-14s coach Tommy Milligan said.

Rodgers, who picked up the win, struck out five in two innings while Perkins struck out one in three innings.

Vidalia scored all of its runs in the first three innings — five in the bottom of the first inning, eight in the bottom of the second and seven in the bottom of the third.

Karlee Woodruff went 2-for-3 with a double and a triple while Mackenzie Watts went 3-for-4 with a double to lead Vidalia’s 11-hit attack.

“As far as hitting the ball, we put a lot of runners on base by playing small ball. We stole some bases,” Milligan said. “We haven’t had a chance to play in six weeks. I don’t think it would have mattered who marched in tonight. Our kids were ready.”

The Vidalia 13-14-year-old All-Stars will take on Jackson Parish today at 6 p.m.