San Antonio – St. Mary’s Taylor Vidrine stepped to the plate Tuesday worrying about more than just her upcoming at-bat.
“It’s a girl’s face; you worry,” the freshman said, laughing.
But black eye and all, she wouldn’t back down.
Vidrine’s walk-off home run to left-center field – her second homer of the day – powered a 7-6 victory over Tarleton State in the back end of a doubleheader at St. Mary’s Softball Field.
Vidrine, who also homered in a 7-5, nine-inning Game 1 loss, suffered a black eye when tagged hard in the face by Tarleton State’s catcher in a bang-bang play at the plate in the fifth inning of the first game.
“I was taken aback,” said Vidrine (San Antonio), the reigning Heartland Conference Hitter of the Week. “But I got back in there.”
In her very next at-bat, Vidrine homered as part of a three-run seventh inning that turned a 5-2 hole into a deadlocked affair in the opener.
“I was like, ‘This is for hitting me!'” she said, chuckling. “I hit my first home run and was like, ‘Ha!'”
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Joking aside, Vidrine wasn’t worried about going yard with the game on the line late in Game 2.
“I wasn’t trying to hit a home run at all,” said Vidrine, who was 3 for 6 with three RBIs, two home runs and three runs scored on the day. “I was just trying to get a base hit.”
Vidrine nearly powered another win in Game 1.
Her two-run blast in pulled the Rattlers (15-11) within one run at 5-4, and Christina Rodriguez (Jr., San Antonio) then drove in the tying run on a double.
But despite St. Mary’s having no one out and a runner on second, the TexAnns (21-8) kept the Rattlers at bay to send the game to extra innings.
After a scoreless eighth inning, Tarleton State exploded in the top of the ninth, as Alexandria Orf and Adrianna Rodriguez had back-to-back homers to seal the win.
Earlier, Tarleton State had steadily built a 3-0 lead with runs in the first, third and fourth innings, but St. Mary’s struck back with two runs in the fifth. Tarleton State later made it 5-2 before the Rattlers went on a run late.
Maricela Bissaro picked up the Game 2 victory after pitching two scoreless innings in relief, including a pair of strikeouts, to improve to 5-0 on the season. St. Mary’s reliever Crystal Keller (Jr., LaCoste, Texas) was tagged with the loss in the opener.
The two teams combined for nine home runs on the day – none bigger than Vidrine’s.
“Being in the third hole is an honor, especially with all these great players on the team,” Vidrine said. “I’m so glad Coach (Donna Fields) trusts me enough to be there. I want to show her I can be there.”
Her black-eyed home run was certainly a good start.