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Vidalia girls avoid elimination in tourney

PINEVILLE, La. — The Vidalia Senior League 13-16-year-old Softball All-Stars staved off elimination Sunday night as they defeated Lake Charles 5-1 at the Southwest Regional Tournament.

Mollie Devening pitched three innings on the mound, allowing three hits and walked two batters while striking out just one batter. But Vidalia scored two runs in the bottom of the fourth inning to take the lead for good at 3-1. Devening was the winning pitcher.

Paige Bryan was the starting pitcher for Vidalia and had trouble finding the strike zone, despite giving up just one hit, as she walked a couple of batters in two innings.

“Tonight our first two pitchers stayed behind in the count a lot. It just seemed like Paige was behind in the count, as was Mollie,” Vidalia head coach Rut Horne said. “(Lake Charles) left the bases loaded once.”

Horne said that the pitcher he felt did the best job on the mound was Ellen Bairnsfather, who came in to shut the door on Lake Charles. In her two innings of relief, Bairnsfather struck out three while allowing just two hits.

“She threw hard, and she threw strikes,” Horne said. “She was always ahead in the count.”

The game remained scoreless until the top of the third inning when Lake Charles took a 1-0 lead. However, Vidalia answered with a run of its own in the bottom of the third before taking the lead an inning later.

Even though Devening and Bairnsfather combining to pitch four straight scoreless innings, Vidalia wasn’t comfortable with just a two-run lead. So it scored two more runs in the bottom of the sixth inning for a 5-1 lead.

Vidalia finished with nine hits in the game. Bailey New was the team’s only multiple hitter as she went 3-for-3 and Allison Hauer had a double.

“(Saturday) night was had 10 strikeouts. Tonight, we had timely hitting,” Horne said. “Our base-running was pretty aggressive. We had a runner on second a lot. Every time we did that, we got a single and the runner scored. That played in our favor tonight.”

Rebecca Monceaux went 2-for-4 with both hits being doubles to lead Lake Charles.

Vidalia will take on the loser of the East Texas/West Texas game in an elimination game at 6 p.m. today.

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