Vidalia senior league team wins Louisiana Little League state title, three Vidalia teams finish runner-ups

Published 8:11 pm Thursday, August 13, 2020

VIDALIA — The Vidalia 16U All Stars won 8-5 over Lake Charles American to claim the Louisiana Little League State softball senior league championship on Sunday at the Vidalia Sports Complex.

Twenty-six teams were divided into six divisions from T-Ball, coach pitch, minor league, little league, junior league and senior league. The softball teams came from Effie, Jackson Parish, Lake Charles, Moss Bluff, Sterlington and Vidalia.

Five teams from Vidalia competed in the Louisiana Little League State softball tournament and four of the teams finished either as runner-ups or champions in their respective divisions. None of the winning teams nor the runner-up teams advanced past the state championship due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Jeannie Beach, head coach of the Vidalia 16U All Stars, said some parts of the championship game were close.

“Lake Charles American would put two runners on base and have the tying run at the plate which caused pressure for us,” Beach said. “The girls played well under pressure and did not affect them. We just stayed focus and played a lot of small ball, meaning we put runners on base and advanced them into scoring position.”

In the senior league division, there were five teams: two from Lake Charles, one from Effie, Moss Bluff and Vidalia.

Vidalia won 17-0 to defeat Lake Charles National in the first round game on last Saturday and won the semifinal round game 5-3 over the Lake Charles American.

“We struggled in the first game in couple of innings with swinging the bats against Lake Charles American,” Beach said. “That was when the players started bunting and had the American defense out of wax. That’s how we got our momentum going the first time we beat them.”
Beach said she used the same strategy in the championship game against American. Becca Cowan was on the mound for the All Stars in both the semifinal and championship games. Beach said Cowan did a great job pitching and kept the batters off balance.

Coach Pitch

The Vidalia All Stars coach-pitch softball team lost 17-14 to Lake Charles American in the championship game Sunday.

Seven teams played in the coach-pitch division with two teams from Lake Charles and Southeast Shreveport, one team from Jackson Parish, Moss Bluff and Vidalia.

Josh Johns, head coach of the Vidalia All Stars coach-pitch team, said the motto for the team was “one team, one dream.”

“It did not matter what position or where I put them in the lineup,” Johns said. “The players knew it was for the betterment of the team.”

All Stars won 15-0 in the first round over Lake Charles National and won 10-4 over Jackson Parish in the second round. Vidalia lost 15-0 to Lake Charles American in the quarterfinal round.

Vidalia won 14-13 against Southeast Shreveport in the semifinal round of the losers bracket. Johns said the game became interesting in the bottom of the sixth with Vidalia down by three runs.

“We managed to win the game with a walk-off hit by Lillie Probst,” Johns said.

Vidalia played in the championship game against American and came up short. Johns said he couldn’t have been more pleased with the team’s performance in the championship game.

“There was not just one individual player that stood out on the team,” Johns said. “It was 13 players coming into one. The three other coaches (Charles Lee, Fred Taylor and Ivan Hedrick) were big in making sure that the players prepared for the games. The three coaches stepped up in days I couldn’t be at practices.”

Other divisions

The Vidalia softball T-ball team played against three other teams in the T-ball division and lost 28-26 to Lake Charles in the championship game. Vidalia finished in third place out of three teams in the Little League division. The Vidalia junior-league team played against four teams and lost 20-1 to Jackson Parish in the championship.