‘I know he is smiling down on all of us,’ Lady Vikings win on senior night

Published 9:34 am Thursday, April 7, 2022

VIDALIA — Lady Viking seniors Brianna Parker, Cayley Weatherly, and Abby Fielder combined for six hits and four RBIs on senior night. Vidalia beat Delhi Charter 11-1 in six innings Wednesday evening. 

Parker was on deck and needed a home run to hit for the cycle when the game-ending run scored. She was 3-3 at the plate and had an RBI. 

In the fifth inning, she blasted a pitch into the left-center gap and rounded second base with a full head of steam. Girls in the dugout and Head Coach Taylor Rodgers put their hands up to get her to hold at second, but she went for third and slid in safely.  

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“I was feeling pumped at the plate. I was so excited I couldn’t stop myself,” Parker said. “When I got to where the shortstop was, I said to myself, ‘there is no stopping just go.’ 

Vidalia’s win brings them to a 10-14 record in Rodger’s first season as a head coach. After starting the season with six straight losses, they are now on a five-game winning streak. 

Weatherly said she could feel pressure to win on senior night as there are more fans. Fielder said senior night had not gone well for the Lady Vikings the last few years. 

Former head coach Forrest Foster died in October and his absence is still felt. Weatherly said they dedicated the season to him. 

“I know he is smiling down on all of us,” Weatherly said. “He was so emotional he would be there with tears in his eyes and patting our backs.” 

Coming together 

In prior seasons, they had drama between girls. This year they learned to have fun off the field, Weatherly said. 

“It’s been the best season yet,” she said. 

Vidalia’s atmosphere has changed. Parker said they enjoy singing songs on the back of the bus. Typically it is oldies like “Party in the USA,” she said. 

The three seniors descend into planning a sleepover party. Weatherly was skeptical of the idea before Fielder and Parker spit out some ideas. 

“We could have cheese boards, punch and watch legally blonde,” they said. 

After getting back on track, Fielder explains what it is like to have her time with Vidalia coming to an end. The Lady Vikings have three games left before the playoffs start.

“I’m going to miss all of my friends. It is a lifelong friendship,” Fielder said. “I think we had problems in the past, but we are finally a team. We are good friends. It has been fun. I’m glad this is my senior year team.”