ROLLIN' ALONG: Lady Gators take advantage of mistake prone EA?to stay undefeated
ST. AMANT - Undefeated St. Amant (18-0, 3-0) added three insurance runs in the sixth inning after East Ascension cut the deficit to three on way to an 8-2 District 6-5A victory Wednesday afternoon at Lady Gator Park.
“I am proud of the kids and the way they played,” St. Amant head coach Scott Nielson said. “This is a big district game. We knew they were a force to reckoned with and we responded. We did some good things and we have some things we need to correct.
“We want to do the work correctly. We try not to look at the scoreboard during the game. I do from a practical perspective but we tell our kids to do the work the right way and the results will be favorable. Did I think that we would be undefeated at this point? Absolutely not. It is difficult to go undefeated with the teams in this district and the teams we have played on our schedule and chances are that loss is probably going to come one day. We just want to play and let the chips fall where they may.”
Aime Parent (12-0) retired the first six batters she faced for St. Amant holding a no-hitter going into the fifth inning. Parent went the distance giving up two runs on four hits and one walk while striking out four for the victory.
“Aime didn’t have her best outing but she pitched good enough to win,” Nielson said. “We didn’t hit the ball extremely well today and a lot of that had to do with their pitching. We felt we had to take advantage of opportunities when we had them and that is why it was so important to extend the inning with runners in scoring position. They made a mistake so we put the ball in play a couple more times but the bottom line is we know that team can strike at any time and we have ton of respect for them.”
Rachel LeCoq took the loss for East Ascension (9-8, 1-2) striking out eight in six innings while giving up eight runs on eight hits and eight walks.
“We put the ball in play. They put the ball in play,” East Ascension head coach Amy Pitre said. “We committed errors. They didn’t commit errors. We had a couple of mental mistakes and we gave them some runs. They didn’t earn eight. They capitalized on the mistakes we made and they didn’t make any.”
After East Ascension cut it to 5-2 in the top of the fifth inning, St. Amant answered in the bottom of the sixth to put the game away. Kelly Luquette drew a walk to lead off the inning and advanced to third on a pass ball after Emily Douglas’ sacrifice bunt. LeCoq stuckout Bridget Buquoi for the second out of the inning before Melanie Parker grounded off Brandi Cedotal’s glove at third to plate a run. Kandace Boudreaux’s liner to center was misplayed to cross another run and Parent grounded through the center of the infield for the final tally.
LeCoq led off the fifth inning with a double off the left fence. Olivia Maher’s liner to the left corner scored pinch running Whitnee Marchand to put East Ascension on the board one out later. Cedotal grounded off Parent in the circle with two outs to cut it to 5-2 before Evan Babin dropped a blooper over third but Brooke Courville popped up to Parent to end the inning.
St. Amant threatened in the bottom half when Parent lined inside the first base line before Gabrielle Templet drew a walk. Amanda Martin lined pass a diving Babin at short but pinch running Haley Jara was thrown out at home to catcher Tiffany Robinson to end the inning.
Luquette drew a lead off walk in the first inning for the game’s first base runner but LeCoq retired the next three batters in order after Parent forced the top of East Ascension batting order into groundouts to start the game.
Boudreaux lined over Babin to open the bottom of the second inning before Parent reached on an overthrown bunt. Templet drew a walk to load the bases after a strikeout and Martin was hit by a pitch to put St. Amant ahead with the first run of the contest.
“That was a key play,” Nielson said. “She could have got out the way and not let the run score but she took it for the team and that was a big part of that inning. It is kind of hard to put yourself in the way of a pitch that you know is going to hit you but especially with the bases loaded, you take it for the team. I am not saying by any stretch that she leaned into the pitch. It clearly hit her and I don’t think she could have gotten out of the way but we will take them any way we can get them.”
Luquette grounded into a potential double play but Courville missed the tag on the baserunner and St. Amant crossed another run. Douglas drew a walk to load the bases again but Buquoi grounded to short and Martin was called for interference to end the inning.
“I know we could have got out of the second inning with no runs,” Pitre said. “We walked too many batters and we made too many mistakes. We fought hard and started hitting the ball late but we could have done that right out of the gate, I think. We slept through the first four innings. We could have done a better job offensively but our problem today was on defense.”
Maher drew a lead off walk to open the third inning but the next nine batters were retired in order by Parent and LeCoq.
St. Amant padded the lead in the fourth inning with three runs. Templet drew a one-out walk before Martin reached on a bunt. One out later, LeCoq bobbled Douglas’ grounder to the circle allowing pinch running Lauren Garlepied to score. Buquoi lined to right to plate another run and pinch running Karli LaBauve scored on a throwing error on Buquoi’s steal of second base. LeCoq struckout Parker to end the inning.
Boudreaux was 2 for 4 with two runs, while Martin was 2 for 2 with a run and Parent was 2 for 4.
LeCoq was 1 for 3 and Maher was 1 for 2 with one RBI and one run.