East Ascension bound for state tourney

Michael Tortorich
East Ascension senior pitcher Rachel LeCoq receives the ball from junior catcher Tiffany Robinson in the Spartans’ 7-1 win over St. Joseph’s Academy in the regional round of the Class 5A state playoffs. The second-seeded Spartans take on Zachary Friday afternoon at Frasch Park in Sulphur in the quarterfinals.

SULPHUR – East Ascension is three wins away from a state championship.

The Spartans will be the lone Ascension Parish team in the state championship tournament this weekend.

East Ascension (27-4) will face Zachary (25-9) Friday at 4 p.m. in the quarterfinals on Field 14 of Frasch Park in Sulphur.

The winner of the game will move on to the semi-final game set for Saturday at 1 p.m. on the same field. The winner will face either West Monroe or St. Thomas More.

The state champion will be decided on Field 16 Saturday at 7 p.m.

Central and Barbe and Hahnville and Mt. Carmel will face off on the other side of the tournament bracket.

The Spartans have met Zachary before. Zachary took a 1-0 win over East Ascension Feb. 28, which was the only time the teams met this season.

Seeded No. 2 in the playoff pairings, the Spartans earned a spot in the state tournament after notching wins over Assumption and St. Joseph’s Academy.

Both home games, the Spartans cruised in a 5-0 game with the Mustangs and a 7-1 decision with the Redstickers.

Third-year East Ascension coach Amy Pitre said though the Spartans lineup is relatively young, they are hard workers.

It is not uncommon to find freshmen and sophomores in startings positions.

Freshmen Kendell Burgess, Brooke Delaune and Kyleigh LeBlanc have seen playing time in the infield, and freshman Bailey Landry has started in right field.

Sophomore Brooke Courville has been a key contributor in the field and at bat. Fellow sophomore Kacie Palmer has also been solid for the Spartans, as she has settled in at third base.

East Ascension has found leadership from its lone senior, pitching ace Rachel LeCoq.

A Colgate signee, LeCoq has also played first base when she’s not in the circle.

The East Ascension juniors have also played key roles.

Catcher Tiffany Robinson has gotten the job done both behind the plate and slugging in the batter’s box.

Fellow junior Chelsea LeBlanc has also been a key batter and pitcher throughout the season.

Starting centerfielder Jade St. Pierre has also shown hitting prowess this year.

Overall, the Spartans have come a long way since last year’s 19-12 season. The team finished third in District 6-5A, and were eliminated in the regionals by rival St. Amant.

This time around, the Spartans are hoping to go all the way and bring a trophy home to Gonzales.