Ascension Christian showed tremendous maturity in fighting back and getting the win. The Lady Lions outscored Plaquemine, 3-0, for the rest of the game and collected their fifth straight victory.
After dominating the first four innings and building an 8-1 lead over Plaquemine on Wednesday evening, it looked like smooth sailing for Ascension Christian. It looked like they may win by way of the mercy rule.
Then disaster struck.
Plaquemine responded with a nine-run flurry in the top of the fifth inning. Suddenly, the Lady Lions went from winning a blowout to being down, 10-8.
But Ascension Christian showed tremendous maturity in fighting back and getting the win. The Lady Lions outscored Plaquemine, 3-0, for the rest of the game and collected their fifth straight victory.
“That’s how it is. With most well-coached teams like Plaquemine, the second go-around, the hitters will see what the pitcher is throwing and they’ll start hitting the ball," Ascension Christian head coach George Gutierrez said. "We’re always trying to change it up. It’s a guessing game for us and what pitches we throw; it’s a guessing game for them to try to figure out what we’re going to throw.
"I think our pitcher, Maddie Gautreau did an excellent job in the last couple of innings of really digging down deep and throwing it a little harder.”
The Lady Lions took a lead in the bottom of the first inning.
Layla Thompson drew a leadoff walk and eventually scored on a Corin Waguespack single.
Ascension Christian extended that lead with a big second inning.
Mattie Dixon, Noelle Laiche and Michelle Juban all walked to load the bases. Waguespack then drew a walk that allowed Dixon to score.
A Gautreau single scored a run, and when the outfielder mishandled the ball, another run came around.
Hallie Dupre then came up with a two-RBI single to give the Lady Lions a commanding 6-0 advantage.
Plaquemine scored one in the top of the third, but Ascension Christian responded in the bottom of the inning.
Thompson walked, and she eventually scored following a throwing error. Later, Juban alertly come home on a deep foul-ball pop-up in the outfield. This gave the Lady Lions a commanding 8-1 advantage.
In the top of the fifth, the Plaquemine offense exploded.
Up until that point, Gautreau had limited them to five hits. In the fifth inning alone, the Green Devils had eight. Four of those hits were doubles, and seven of them drove in runs.
This hot streak by Plaquemine gave them a 10-8 advantage, but the Lady Lions never faltered.
In the bottom of the fifth, they tied the game.
Waguespack led off the inning with a walk, and Gautreau joined her on base with a single. That's when Skye Fontenot drove in both players with a single.
With the score still tied in the bottom of the sixth, the Lady Lions regained the lead.
Thompson came up with a bunt single, and she reached second following a throwing error. Later, she scored on a double by Waguespack.
Just three outs away from victory, Gautreau took care of business from the circle. She ended the game with back-to-back strikeouts.
In the victory, Waguespack led the way, going 2-3 with two walks and three RBIs. Gautreau was 2-4 with an RBI, and Thompson was 1-3 with two walks, and she scored three runs--including the game winner.
It was Ascension Christian's ninth win in 10 games. After winning just 11 games all of last season, the Lady Lions have already built up a 13-2 record in 2019.
“It starts with pitching. We have an excellent pitcher, and our defense is pretty good," Gutierrez said. "It’s a big improvement from last year. Our outfield is playing really well this season, and our infield is solid. Maddie Gautreau has gotten better; she’s gotten stronger.”