Setting the bar
Ville Platte's Destiny Lavigne comes up firing after fielding a ball during a game at the USSSA World Series. Ville Platte finished 2-1 in pool play and 2-2 in bracket play. (Photo courtesy of Sadie Ardoin)
Ville Platte's Rose Ardoin squares up to a pitch in a game at the USSSA Open Division World Series held in Gulf Shores, Alabama last week. Ville Platte played up in competition and came home with a ton of respect as they placed fifth overall in the tournament. (Photo courtesy of Sadie Ardoin)
GULF SHORES, AL -- When the Ville Platte Girl’s Softball Association 10U Select All-Stars arrived here last Wednesday, they were expecting to be placed in the Class C USSSA World Series tournament.
That all changed when head coach Todd Ardoin got a phone call from the Louisiana State Director.
“When the State Director called me, he told me that we were being moved up to Class B play,” stated Ardoin. “The reason he gave was that our play was so good all season long that the World Series Tournament Director thought we were capable of competing up in classification.”
“Even though I did not really want to play up, I knew our girls would be ready,” he continued. “We set the bar high for these girls because we know they are capable. We expect and demand a lot of them. We would not push them if we did not believe they could handle it.”
And handle it they did. Not only did Ville Platte compete, they proved they belonged, even coming within one run of the eventual champions. After the dust had cleared, the All-Stars brought home some much earned hardware, placing fifth overall in the tournament.
“We definitely played to our potential,” said Ardoin. “No doubt we had some missed opportunities. But, we played against some of the best teams around and had coaches from those teams tell us that they had never seen a team more disciplined than us.”
Ville Platte started the tournament on a good note, taking their first two games by a combined score of 20-1.
Game three saw the All-Stars face off against the eventual tournament champions, Southern Spirit in their last pool game. Despite facing off against one of the best pitchers in the tournament, Ville Platte collected three hits and pushed Southern Spirit to the edge before falling 3-0.
As bracket play began, the Ville Platte offense and pitching kicked back into high gear. The All-Stars blanked Bullet Softball 6-0 in game one of the bracket, holding their opponent hitless in the contest.
Game two saw Ville Platte collect 10 runs on six hits as they breezed past Southern Spirit B 10-1.
Another showdown came in game three of bracket play, as Ville Platte faced off against the World Series runners-up Gulf Coast Angels. In that contest, Ville Platte fell behind 2-0 after one inning of play, but found a way to tie the game up in the third inning.
Unfortunately, bunting and base running mistakes caught up to Ville Platte, as Gulf Coast plated a lone run in the fourth to seal a 3-2 win.
Dropping into the loser’s bracket, Ville Platte once again found itself up against a good team in the Knockout Divas. This time it was three errors in the last inning that cost Ville Platte, as the Divas scored three runs to squeeze past the All-Stars 5-4.
“I just want to thank my assistant coaches Shane Darbonne, Travis Johnson and Rayna Gerald for their dedication and effort getting this team ready to play,” commented Ardoin. “Also, the parents were a tremendous help to us. It takes a lot to get a team to this level, and they were there every step of the way. I also want to thank all of our fans and the community for their support