RA’s Vicknair signs with LSU-Eunice

Published 11:45 pm Friday, January 18, 2013



RESERVE — Riverside’s Destin Vicknair has long been one of the state’s most effective pitchers on the softball field, and her senior season with the Rebels won’t be her last hurrah in the sport.

She made that fact official this week. Vicknair signed with LSU-Eunice Thursday at a special signing ceremony in the Riverside gym with her teammates and fellow students in attendance.

“It’s very exciting,” said Vicknair, who pitched Riverside into the Class 2A state semifinals last season. “I’m looking forward to taking a new step in life.”

Vicknair was L’Observateur’s selection as St. John the Baptist Parish Most Valuable Player in each of the past two seasons. As a junior, she tallied a 22-9 overall record and struck out 230 batters.

“She’s really worked at it,” said Riverside coach Kristy Hebert. “She concentrates on her pitching year-round and plays during the summer. And as far as pitching in high school, to be successful you have to do it year-round. She’s been dedicated and it’s paid off.”

Vicknair also helped her own cause plenty of times. She batted .400 with 31 RBIs and a pair of home runs.

“She’s really an all-around player,” said Hebert. “If she hasn’t been our top hitter (in a given year), she’s certainly been in the top three since her freshman season.

“People don’t see it because she’s been on the mound so much, but she can also play well in the field. She’s got a very good glove at first base.”

LSU-Eunice was the choice, Vicknair said, because the atmosphere and surrounding people at the school just made her feel at home.

She could also sense competitiveness from her Tiger teammates to be that appealed to her.

“All of the players there are dedicated. Nobody’s there to slack off,” she said. “They all want to win the championship.”

The standout hurler and her Rebel teammates are hunting an elusive championship themselves. Riverside certainly projects to be in the hunt again, bringing back the entirety of last season’s state semifinalist roster.

Vicknair took over as the team’s lead starter on the mound as an 8th grader; the Rebels’ senior core largely is comprised of players who pushed into the starting lineup as 8th graders and freshmen, making this team one of the most experienced in the state.

“We’re like sisters, really,” said Vicknair. “We tell each other everything. We have our little fights here and there, but we’re a big family.”

Hebert said that Vicknair makes things hard on opposing hitters by employing a deep repertoire of pitches. The senior’s changeup, especially, makes her tough to deal with, the coach said.  

“It’s really an unbelievable pitch,” said Hebert. “She creates a huge difference of speed between that and her fastball.”

As a result, batters have a hard time making solid contact, generating the kind of easy outs that Vicknair said makes things work.

“I know I’ve got a great defense behind me. It’s not about striking everyone out,” she said. “If I make them hit a ground ball or a pop fly, we’re in good shape.”

Vicknair is the second Rebel to sign this season at the next level. Centerfielder Taylor Terrio signed with Nicholls State in December.

“To have two right now … I’m just very happy for them taking that next step,” said Hebert.

“From day one when she stepped on campus, Destin always said she wanted to play college softball. Now she will.”

Still, Vicknair said there’s some unfinished business to attend to.

“We all have started conditioning work a lot earlier. Everyone is pushing a lot harder,” she said. “We’re all tired of losing in the semifinals, so we’re working even harder to get to where we want to be.”