Vidalia 15s, 16s ready to represent La. in World Series

Published 12:07 am Thursday, August 2, 2012

Maura Cooper throws the ball back to home plate after fielding during practice with the Vidalia 15s and 16s softball team Wednesday night at the Vidalia softball complex. The team will be flying out to Delaware to compete in their first game Sunday of the Little League World Series. (Lauren Wood \ The Natchez Democrat)

VIDALIA — The look the Vidalia 15- and 16-year-old All-Stars had when they examined photos from Sunday was one of shock and awe.

After beating East Texas in the Little League Southwest Regional to secure a trip to the Little League World Series, pitcher Laura Perilloux said the girls were shaken up.

“We were all in shock,” Perilloux said. “You can see it in all the pictures — when we came in, we were in a daze. We couldn’t believe we just won. All of us were crying, jumping on each other and screaming.”

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Now the Vidalia players have a big opportunity ahead of them as they head to Lower Sussex, Del., this weekend. This year’s Vidalia squad is just the second Louisiana team in their age bracket to ever represent the state in the World Series.

“It’s been hectic,” head coach Micah Hughes admitted. “The logistics of trying to get parents rooms, flights, lodging and rental cars, it’s a lot to plan. But it’s a good problem to have.”

World Series play begins Sunday for Vidalia, and the girls will take on Italy at 7 p.m. They play again at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday versus Puerto Rico, and Vidalia will play Central U.S. Wednesday morning.

“This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” Hughes said. “There were 28,872 girls that started out, according to the (Little League) website. Out of that, we’re one of 10 teams that’s playing.”

That’s something that’s hard for catcher Micahla Hughes to fathom, she said.

“It’s exciting,” Micahla said. “I’m just ready to see all the foreign teams and competition.”

Micah said his team’s countless hours of work is what allowed the girls to reach the ultimate stage in Little League softball.

“Dedication is the No. 1 thing,” Micah said. “For them to give up their summer to come do this, that means they’re pretty special. They’ve put in some countless hours of practice.”

Perilloux said chemistry has also played a big part in the girls’ impressive run.

“All of us get along really well,” she said. “There’s no team drama. Everyone on the bench cheers for the people on the field, and everyone supports each other.”

Since making the World Series, Perilloux said she’s noticed practices get even better this week in anticipation of their trip.

“Everyone is more into it, and we have a better attitude,” Perilloux said. “We’re excited about it and we’re working hard.”

Micahla said her teammates haven’t let the pressure of going to a World Series get in their heads.

“It’s exciting; it hasn’t been stressful at all,” Micahla said. “We’re just ready to go.”

With a chance at possibly appearing on national TV, Perilloux said that aspect of the trip hasn’t quite sunk in yet.

“It’s crazy to even think that we’re going to Delaware, and I don’t think (the TV aspect) will sink in until we get there,” Perilloux said. “Right now, we just have to win games.”

Micah said a livestream of the team’s games will be available at