Vicknair’s perfect game leads Rebs to sweep

Published 11:45 pm Tuesday, March 19, 2013



LUTCHER – Riverside’s Destin Vicknair had about as strong a weekend as a pitcher can have at the weekend’s Lutcher softball tournament – in some ways, it was even perfect.

Her team followed suit. The Rebels went 3-0 against a trio of quality teams, a slate of victories highlighted by Vicknair’s perfect 9-inning game in a 1-0 win over Neville.

Vicknair’s no hit, no walk line was punctuated by 11 strikeouts and a game-winning RBI at the plate. In the ninth inning, with a runner starting the inning on second due to Olympic tiebreaker rules, Rayne Weber stole third with Vicknair up to bat. Vicknair hit a ground ball to short and Weber beat the throw home, sliding under the tag to score the winning run.

“All of Destin’s pitches were working,” said Riverside coach Kristy Hebert. “Neville’s pitcher was perfect up until about the fifth inning. They were going back and forth, trading strikeouts … I was proud that we stayed focused throughout the entire game and held on. I’ve been preaching to them about mental toughness and they showed a lot of that against Neville. Two of our three losses came after we lost a lead in the final inning, and we didn’t let it happen this time.”

Hebert said that nobody spoke of the perfect game as it was going on.

“I’m not even sure that she knew about it, or that the team was completely aware. I was,” said Hebert. “But the talk every inning was just about how one ball could be the difference between winning and losing. You’ve got to want the ball (as a fielder), to be a hero. And behind Destin, we made a lot of plays. Toni (Hebert) made four or five big ones. Erica Delaneuville made the last three, the biggest ones of the game. Destin helped her own cause with a about four that came right back to the mound.”

The perfect effort  against Neville (9-7) was the exclamation point on a sterling weekend as a whole for L’Observateur’s returning St. John Parish MVP. She won three starts and allowed just three hits over 21 innings of work while striking out 30 batters.

The Rebels avenged a loss earlier this season to Teurlings Catholic (13-5), taking a second 1-0 win at the tournament.

Vicknair wasn’t perfect again, but she was close – she tossed a two hit shutout and walked just one while striking out 10.

Erica Delaneuville delivered the day’s game-winning RBI in the sixth inning, knocking in Taylor Terrio, who doubled to lead off.

The Rebels defeated Central Catholic (15-5) 9-3 at the tournament, posting their biggest offensive performance of the weekend.

Vicknair threw six one-hit innings while striking out nine. She also went 2 for 4 with three RBIs at the plate. Katie Bailey went 2 for 4 with an RBI. Erica Delaneuville went 1 for 4 with an RBI.

Hebert said that the Rebels approached the weekend tourney like a “pre-state tournament,” with Riverside facing three high quality opponents over a two day period. Teurlings Catholic and Neville are the fifth and seventh ranked teams in the Class 4A power rankings, while Central Catholic sits at No. 2 in the Class 1A rankings.

It’s nothing new for the Rebels, though, who currently sit second in the Class 2A power rankings. It would be tough to find anyone who has played a tougher schedule thus far than the Rebels: Riverside’s last nine opponents have all ranked in the top seven in their respective classification’s power points. Two others rank in the top 20 in Class 5A.

Riverside will add another big name to that list this weekend at the South Beauregard tournament as it prepares to face DeRidder, the second ranked team in Class 4A. RA is also slated to face Mamou and Tioga, playoff contenders in Class 2A and 4A respectively.