With their 10-5 road victory over parish rival Ascension Christian, the Lady Bulldogs closed out another district championship season with an unblemished record. This is the fourth straight year they've been able to accomplish this feat.
It may not have been a perfect game for Ascension Catholic on Tuesday evening, but the result was.
With their 10-5 road victory over parish rival Ascension Christian, the Lady Bulldogs closed out another district championship season with an unblemished record. This is the fourth straight year they’ve been able to accomplish this feat.
"The seniors, they're like 24-0 in district over their careers, and that's saying a lot, because we have a target on our backs; everyone wants to beat us,” Ascension Catholic head coach Don Henry said. “I’m proud of that. We get everyone's best game, but we've been able to respond."
The Lady Bulldogs blew out the Lady Lions in their first meeting, but on Tuesday, Ascension Christian hung around early, due to some good pitching by Maddie Gautreau.
Ascension Catholic took a 1-0 lead in the first inning after Alicia Canatella led off with a walk and eventually scored on a wild pitch.
This 1-0 advantage lasted until the third inning. There, the Lady Bulldog bats finally began to wake up.
Abigail Landry walked and Canatella singled. Mackenzie Marroy then sent both players home on a triple.
Marroy eventually scored on a passed ball to extend the lead to 4-0.
Layla Thompson came up with an RBI single in the bottom of the inning to put the Lady Lions on the board, but the Lady Bulldogs responded with a five-spot in the fourth.
Much of Ascension Catholic’s offense in the inning was the result of Ascension Christian mistakes from the field.
Both Isabelle Abadie and Ceily Grisaffe reached base with fielding errors. A Landry walk and Gautreau wild pitch then allowed one runner to score.
Canatella then reached base and another run scored on a third Lady Lion error.
Lauren Landry walked to load the bases. It set up Angelle Theriot, who drilled a base-clearing double to give Ascension Catholic a comfortable 9-1 lead.
They added an RBI single by Abigail Landry in the next inning, but the Lady Lions didn’t go away.
A Skye Fontenot RBI single, a Lady Bulldog fielding error that resulted in two runs and a sac grounder by Brooke LeBlanc cut the Ascension Christian deficit to 10-5 in the bottom of the fifth.
However, the Lady Lions were shut out for the rest of the game.
"She (Gautreau) was a solid pitcher,” Henry said. “She put in some new pitches against us this time, and we told the kids to stay back and don't get off-balance, and if you're off-balance, let it go--if you have a strike to work with. They did that, and we finally started getting some solid hits. I was especially proud of how we settled down and took care of business after they got those four runs in the one inning."
Both teams finished the game with seven hits.
The Lady Bulldogs were led by Theriot as she went 2-3 with a walk and three RBIs. Grisaffe went 2-4.
As for the Lady Lions, they were led by Fontenot and Layla Thompson. Both went 2-4 with an RBI. Lauren Thompson went 2-3.
The victory was the fourth win in five games for Ascension Catholic, but Coach Henry would still like to see his team make some improvements before the playoffs.
"I'd like to see more consistency. We've had a problem lately where we'll make some errors in one inning, and it costs us,” Henry said. “We'd like to get that out of the way. If we can do that and our hitting can stay consistent, we should be good and ready. Our pitching has been getting much better."
First-year Lady Lion head coach George Gutierrez wants his team to finish strong as the postseason looms.
"We have to be competitive with the games we have left on the schedule, and hopefully, we'll make the playoffs,” Gutierrez said. “If we make the playoffs, we'll see who we get matched up against. We'll take a look at that team and get ready for that."