Vidalia softball teams clash in finals

Published 12:01 am Thursday, July 9, 2015

VIDALIA — A two-out rally in the bottom of the fourth inning sprung a six-run inning and comeback for the 11- and 12-year-old Vidalia Americans to take the district tournament Wednesday night.

After falling to the Avoyelles Americans 19-9 Monday, the Vidalia Nationals defeated the Avoyelles Americans Tuesday night to face the Vidalia Americans in the finals Wednesday night. Despite coming from the loser’s bracket, the Nationals weren’t intimidated, jumping on the Americans 7-3 in the second inning.

Heading into the bottom the fourth, the Americans trailed 7-6 with two outs before two walks opened the door for Annalyce Riley to hit single, Madeline Smith to follow with a double and Fisher Iseminger to cap the inning off with a single, giving the Americans a 12-7 lead. The Americans went on to score five more runs in the fifth inning to 10-run rule the Nationals 17-7.

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“We weren’t making plays in the beginning, bobbling balls and making mental mistakes,” Americans coach Barry Iseminger said. “We fought back though, and I was happy with the way they put together runs late in the game.”

Despite the outcome, both the Americans and Nationals qualified for the state tournament, which begins Friday in Lake Charles. Both teams drew a bye in the opening round, and the Americans will play at 2 p.m. and the Nationals will follow at 4 p.m.

9- and 10-year-old Vidalia Nationals 17,

Vidalia Americans 7

In a similar fashion, the Vidalia Nationals rallied in the fourth inning to tie the game and 10-run rule the Vidalia Americans.

The Americans held a 6-5 advantage going into the fourth until errors and timely hits tilted the game in their opponent’s favor.

“We made a pitching change, and our pitching got away from us in that inning,” Americans head coach Brent McCarthy said. “We walked a few batters that inning, and it was a snowball effect.”

A pitching change for the Nationals made a big difference for the Nationals as Jaden Boydstun came in and allowed minimum damage.

“She did a fantastic job tonight,” Nationals coach Bo Sproles said. “I’ve got to brag on my catcher Lauren Dunbar, though. She’s probably the best catcher I’ve seen behind Brianna Henson. She threw girls out and didn’t allow a passed ball.”

Both Vidalia teams qualified for state, and both will compete at 6 p.m. Friday in New Iberia against District 4 opponents.