Vidalia Americans cruise to 12-1 victory, qualify for state
Published 12:05 am Wednesday, July 8, 2015
VIDALIA — With her father in mind, Harlie Murray fought off jitters as she stepped inside the circle to pitch for the 11- and 12-year-old Vidalia Americans Tuesday night. Murray, who pitched five complete innings in a 12-1 victory against the Avoyelles Americans Tuesday night, thought of her father, Curtis, who couldn’t be at the game do to work obligations.
“He told me before the game to just go out there and do what you know you can do and dominate,” Murray said. “I played for him.”
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Murray struck out five and didn’t allow her first hit of the game until the fifth inning.
While Murray and the Vidalia Americans defense were dominating the game defensively, the Vidalia American offense kicked into gear early and didn’t let up.
Following a leadoff bunted single by Andy Gray, Murray squeezed Gray in from second base with a bunt down the first base line to give the Vidalia Americans a 1-0 lead.
Vidalia took a commanding lead in the second when Fisher Iseminger reached on a single, and Avery Cupit moved her over to third base with a single of her own. With runners on the corners, Gray hit a ball to left field, but an error by the left fielder allowed Cupit and Iseminger to score to give Vidalia a 3-0 lead.
Ensuing batter Murray broke the game open with an inside-the-park home run to give Vidalia a 5-0 lead. Monterey distance runner Murray thought she had a chance to score after she lifted a shot into the outfield.
“I kind of did because I run track,” Murray said. “You just have to keep focus.”
Avoyelles changed pitchers in the fifth inning, subbing for Kasey Russell. The pitching change opened the door for Vidalia to record six runs in the inning, stemming off of walks and hits by Allie Felton, Annalyce Riley, Madeline Smith, Iseminger and Anna Poole.
“This is probably one of the better teams I’ve coached in all-stars, and I think you can see that from top to bottom, we can hit at the plate,” head coach Barry Iseminger said. “And on the base paths, these girls like to run, and I like to run too.”
With a 12-0 advantage, Murray lost her no-hitter in the fifth inning and shutout to an RBI single by Bianca Redmon. Avoyelles recorded two hits and committed two errors in the loss, while Vidalia totaled nine hits and one error.
The Americans will face the Vidalia Nationals tonight with both teams advancing to the state tournament in Lake Charles Friday.