Vidalia Little Leaguers ready for state

Published 12:01 am Thursday, July 11, 2013

VIDALIA — The Vidalia Little League 13- and 14-year-old All-Stars are only a year removed from a trip to Santa Fe, N.M., for the Little League regional tournament.

But head coach Wesley McCarver said he’s got loftier goals in mind as his team gears up for its state tournament in Vidalia this weekend.

The 13s and 14s will take on the Bossier Little League All-Stars at 6 p.m. Friday in the first game of the state tournament. The tournament will feature four teams, and McCarver said his girls are ready to play.

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“I’ve got some girls returning from last year and a few young girls,” McCarver said. “I have a little more pitching than I had last year, and the girls that are coming back will be my leaders. The younger girls have some speed, and we’re looking to make it even further than Santa Fe this year and add to what we did last year.”

It also helps that the state tournament will be in the girls’ back yard, McCarver said.

“That’s exciting for us to have it here,” he said. “We’re glad to have the opportunity to have it here at home, and we think we’ll have a bit of homefield advantage.”

Vidalia 9s and 10s

The 13- and 14-year-olds won’t be the only team playing at home Friday night. inger said his team would have to hit better than last weekend in this weekend’s seven-team tournament.

“We threw a lot of strikes, but (Avoyelles) had a good hitting team that put the ball in play,” Iseminger said. “They scored a lot of runs.”

Iseminger said he doesn’t know much about Shreveport heading into Friday’s game. Many of his girls play travel ball, but they play teams in the Baton Rouge-Alexandria area rather than Shreveport, he said.

“I expect they’ll be a solid ball club,” Iseminger said. “We’re going to have to come out and play our game, throw strikes, play defense and hit the ball.”

Vidalia 11s and 12s

The Vidalia Little League 11- and 12-year-old All-Stars head to Jonesboro, La., this weekend for their state tournament, and will begin at 8 p.m. versus Evangeline Parish.

Vidalia and four other teams will look to secure a trip to Waco, Texas, for the regional tournament. Head coach Leigh Anne Mason said she’s looking forward to the challenge.

“I don’t really know a lot about any of the teams, but I’m feeling really comfortable with our pitching,” she said. “Both Shelby Mason and Bailey Yates pitched one-hitters last weekend at district.”

Mason said her team also has several other girls to choose from to take the mound.

“We made sure we got enough pitching when we picked the team to go the distance,” Mason said.

Eventually, Mason said she would like her team to make a Little League World Series appearance in Oregon.

“That’s our long-range goal, but we know we have to win one game at a time,” she said.

Vidalia 7s and 8s.

The Vidalia Little League 7- and 8-year-old All-Stars will play Winn Parish in the first game of a five-team state tournament in New Iberia, La., this weekend.

Game time for the 7s and 8s is 8 p.m. Friday, and head coach Brent McCarthy said his team is looking forward to playing a game after practicing for almost a month.

“It was just us in our district, so we didn’t have a district tournament,” McCarthy said. “We played in a travel ball tournament and lost all four games, but they hadn’t played together but a week when we took them.”

McCarthy said he hopes the travel ball and practice experience will pay off this weekend.

“We’ve had a solid month of practice, and we worked on what we needed to work on,” he said.