The St Amant Lady Gator softball squad has raced out to a 6-1 record early in the 2019 season.

The St Amant Lady Gator softball squad has raced out to a 6-1 record early in the 2019 season.

Pitching, timely hitting and defense have all contributed to early success for a Gator squad who are replacing seven senior starters from 2018. Junior Pitcher Alyssa Romano, back-to-back Parish Pitcher of the Year, picked up where she left off in 2018, being dominant in the circle.

A starter on the Lady Gator basketball team, she had to play double duty early with both sports, but now, she has full focus on the diamond, and the wins and numbers are stacking up. Romano is 6-1 with a 1.90 ERA , striking out 56 batters in only 44 innings with seven complete games. Romano had a season-high 14 strikeouts in a battle with Beau Chene. 

Replacing seven starters is a work in progress early on for the Gators as four of those seniors are playing college softball ( Taylor Tidwell - LSU, Brooke Romano - LSUE, Kennedy Page - ULM, Dionne Templet - Coastal Alabama) and all hit over .350 with a combined 30 home runs.

Kelsi Martine, Rylee Rossi, Chandler Guedry and Romano are the starters who return with experience and are helping lead. 

The Lady Gators opened the season with a convincing 12-2 victory over South Terrebonne. Romano tossed a complete game with eight strikeouts, while Martine, Payton Granier and Julia Kramer all had three hits, and Nayalie Rodriquez picked up three RBIs. 

Defending back-to-back Class-B state champion Holden was up next, and the Gators handled wet playing conditions and the Rockets for an 8-4 victory.  Romano tossed another complete game, while Rodriquez and Rossi each homered in the Victory. 

Next up, the Lady Gators jumped all over the Slidell Tigers for a run-rule-shortened contest with a 17-2 win. Granier and Rodriquez combined for seven RBIs.

The Lady Gators traveled down the bayou to Destrehan, and a pitcher’s duel broke out, but St. Amant found a way to win, 2-1. Romano threw six shutout innings to keep the Gators close, before scratching two runs in the seventh to notch her fourth win of the season.

Hits and runs were hard to come by, but Romano managed to get two hits, and Martine had a key two-outs RBI single in the seventh for the eventual winning run. 

Another pitcher’s duel with a strong Beau Chene team saw Romano strike out 14 in a tough 3-2 loss.  Martine and sophomore Sophie Smith each managed two hits in the defeat.  The Gators left the tying and winning runs at second and third in the seventh. 

The bounce-back game after the Gators’ first loss of the season didn’t come easy. The Lady Gator bats were quiet for seven innings, but down to their last strike, junior Kaylie Dufour launched a three-run homer to erase a two-run deficit and willed St Amant to a 3-2 win over the Lutcher Bulldogs. Romano notched 11 strikeouts with no walks to keep the Gators in it, while Kramer managed two hits at the plate.  

In the finale of the Coach I tournament, the Lady Gators squared off with the Ascension Catholic Bulldogs. A close game that saw the Bulldogs jump out 1-0 early ended with the Gator bats waking up for a 9-1 win. 

Offense eventually put the game out of reach, but the game-changing play was made by Martine as she made a diving catch into the left field fence to rob a sure leadoff double for the Bulldogs with the score still within reach at 2-1. Rossi had three hits, and Romano helped her own cause with two hits and two RBIs, but it was Rodriquez’s second homer of the season, a three-run blast, that put the game out of reach.  

The Gators get back on the diamond this week with contests against Zachary and St. Joesph’s, before battling in the St Amant Invitational this weekend.