Vidalia 13- and 14-year-olds win state tournament in Little League softball

Published 12:19 am Tuesday, July 20, 2010

JONESBORO, La. — Vidalia 13- and 14-year-old softball coach Tommy Milligan found it difficult to describe how he felt Monday night.

His team had just won the Louisiana Little League state championship, beating Jackson Parish 8-5, and when Milligan could come up with the words to say, all he could do was compliment his players.

“I’m kind of speechless right now. This is a great accomplishment,” Tommy Milligan said.

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“This is our first year in little league, and our girls really stepped up. We’re all excited, because we went to the state finals last year and got beat. For them to come back this year and win, we’re really proud of them.”

Vidalia had the lead going into the top of the fifth, but reliever Taylor Perkins ran into some trouble, and Jackson came back to take a 5-4 lead.

The Vidalia girls responded in kind at the bottom of the frame, regaining the lead by playing small ball and taking advantage of fielding mistakes by Jackson.

Baler Smith and McKenzie Milligan both reached on bunt singles, and Tommy Milligan planned to have McKenzie Watts hit a sacrifice bunt to move the runners over. Watts reached safely, however, which loaded the bases.

Following that, two runs scored on passed balls, and Vidalia loaded the bases again. The third run scored on a bases-loaded walk, and the fourth on another passed ball.

Karlee Woodruff got the save for Vidalia by pitching a scoreless sixth inning. Starter Taylor Rodgers earned the win.

With the win, the Vidalia girls will play in the regional tournament in Odessa, Texas, Aug. 6.

“I think we’ll take a couple of days off, and then the next few days get back to practicing,” Tommy Milligan said.