All-Star roundup: Vidalia softball teams shine in tourney

Published 12:03 am Wednesday, July 8, 2015

VIDALIA — Chloe Smith pitched three-plus effective innings and the Vidalia Americans 9- and 10-year-old All-Stars took advantage of some less-than-stellar pitching to defeat Avoyelles 19-9 in four innings Tuesday afternoon at the district tournament at the Vidalia Recreation District 3 Complex.

Alexia Bond had quite an interesting game for the Vidalia Americans. She was the starting pitcher and got roughed up before being relieved by Smith. Bond was able to overcome that by driving in the run that 10-run ruled Avoyelles in the bottom of the fourth inning.

“Bond got in a little bit of trouble (on the mound) and I brought Chloe in,” Vidalia Americans coach Brent McCarthy said. “(Chloe) had a little bit of struggle. But once she got in a groove, she came on strong. She struck out five.”

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While Smith was able to settle down for the Vidalia Americans, the same could not be said for Avoyelles’ starting pitcher, who had her share of problems finding the strike zone.

“The other pitcher walked a lot of batters. We had a lot of stolen bases. We kept scoring one run at a time,” McCarthy. “We had five hits in the game.”

Next up for the Vidalia Americans is the championship round against the Vidalia Nationals at 6 p.m. today. However, the Vidalia Americans have to win that game to force a second game. If that happens, the second game will take place after the conclusion of the first game. Regardless of the outcome, both teams will be playing in the state tournament.

Vidalia Nationals 10, Avoyelles Americans 9

VIDALIA — Abbey Hardie scored the game-winning run to cap off a dramatic six-run rally in the bottom of the sixth inning as the Vidalia Nationals 11- and 12-year-old All-Stars defeated the Avoyelles American All-Stars 10-9 Tuesday night in an elimination game at the round-robin district tournament.

Becca Cowan got the start for the Vidalia Nationals and went all six innings. She got the win despite being hit hard by the Avoyelles Americans.

“She pitched well. She had some rough spots, but she hung in there and kept us in the ball game. Luckily, it was a night game,” Vidalia Nationals coach Mike Bowlin said. “Defensively, we got the outs we didn’t get (Monday) night.”

The Vidalia Nationals went into the bottom of the sixth trailing 9-4 and were just three outs away from having their season come to an end. But their refuse-to-lose mentality allowed them to overcome that deficit. The big hit of the frame was a two-run double by Tionna Ellis, who finished 2-for-3.

With the win, the Vidalia Nationals earned a berth in the finals against the Vidalia Americans at 6 p.m. today. If the Vidalia Nationals win that game, a second game will take place following the conclusion of the first game. Both teams have also earned berths in the state tournament.

Concordia Parish 17,

Richland 2

MONROE, La. — Tristan Weatherly hit a two-run home run and Caden Poole nearly hit for the cycle as the Concordia Parish Dixie Youth 14-year-old All-Stars defeated the Richland All-Stars 17-2 in five innings Tuesday afternoon at the district tournament.

Winning pitcher Tanner Jenkins allowed two runs, both of them earned, in two and one-third innings. Jace Watts came on in relief and pitched two and two-thirds shutout innings.

“Both of our pitchers performed well,” Concordia Parish 14s coach Dillon Smith said. Both Jenkins and Watts also helped their own cause at the plate. Jenkins went 2-for-2 while Watts was 2-for-3.

After scoring one run in the first inning, Concordia Parish turned the game into a blowout compliments of a seven-run second inning. After that, it was just a matter of how many innings it would take for that team to run-rule Richland.

Concordia Parish put up nine runs over the final three innings to end the game early.

Several players on the Concordia Parish 14-year-old All-Star team had multiple hits. Poole ended up with a single, a double and a triple in a 3-for-4 performance. Dalivan Hunt also went 3-for-4, Nick Melton was 2-for-2, and Alex McCready went 2-for-3 with an RBI double.

“We smoked the ball. We fed off some energy and good things happened,” Smith said. “In the second inning we put some pressure on them. That put the game away. We saw something we hadn’t seen in a while. Their starting pitcher was throwing nothing but breaking balls. Then we saw a lefty. We were seeing the ball well and hitting the ball well.”

The Concordia Parish 14-year-old All-Stars will next play at 8 p.m. today in a winners’ bracket game against the winner of the Caldwell/Monroe game.