SECOND CLOCK TICKING: Hahnville takes two-game lead in district with win over Lady Gators
ST. AMANT - Hahnville scored two runs in the fifth inning and held off St. Amant for a 2-0 District 6-5A victory to wrap up the first round of league play Tuesday afternoon at Lady Gator Park.
The victory gives Hahnville (17-3-1, 5-0) a two-game lead in district play threatening to end the Lady Gators run of seven straight district championships with the second round set to have started Thursday. St. Amant (21-2, 3-2) falls into a three way tie for second-place with Dutchtown (14-8, 3-2) and East Ascension (13-10, 3-2). The Lady Griffins defeated Destrehan (6-11, 1-4) Thursday, 8-5, while East Ascension hammered East St. John (1-17, 0-5), 13-0.
“I have said for the last two years that is a very good softball team over there,” St. Amant head coach Scott Nielson said. “There is absolutely no doubt about it. They outplayed us. We didn’t make the adjustments. We haven’t made the adjustments. We continue not to make the adjustments and that is disappointing. It is gut check time.
“At one point in the season, you are thinking district championship and now we are hoping we make the playoffs. We got two losses and this is a dog eat dog district. They outplayed us and deserved to win. I have been trying to tell my kids for a long time that they are going to have to start doing things differently and for some reason we are not. I need to evaluate what I am doing as a coach because they are not responding. I need to find some answers. That is where we are.”
Lauren Candies held St. Amant scoreless giving up just two hits while walking four and striking out three. Aime Parent took the loss surrendering two runs on five hits and three walks while striking out three.
“(Candies) kept them off balance,” Hahnville head coach Kenneth Vial said. “They are a great hitting team and she just did a wonderful job and has been good all year.”
“Anytime you win a game in this district it is a big win. I know (St. Amant’s) history and our kids know it. It is a great thing for us to sneak one here. We are young and only have three kids on the field that played last year but they have ice water in their veins and great composure. They amaze me everyday. I am speechless. These kids are unbelievable.”
Parent walked Mindy Gaubert to open the fifth inning before Candies grounded into a fielder’s choice to the circle. Jessica Cancienne then drew four straight balls to put runners at first and second before Taylor Webre’s grounder to short was mishandled at second leaving the bases loaded. Parent struckout Elise Debruler but Amye Mair dropped a blooper inside the third base line in shallow right to plate two runs before being tagged out attempting to take second to end the inning.
“We had a bad inning defensively,” Nielson said. “We walked both the hitters that scored. We had a routine ground ball and couldn’t make the play. We allowed ourselves to be put in that situation and then their hitter reaches out and pokes one down the right field line, something we couldn’t do all day. My hats off to them. They did a great job but we didn’t do anything to help ourselves and they did what it took. There is nothing else to say.”
St. Amant threatened in the bottom half putting runners on the corners but Bridget Buquoi grounded out to end the inning. Candies hit Gabrielle Templet to open the inning before Amanda Martin grounded into a fielder’s choice. Kelly Luquette struckout after Martin stole second but Emily Douglas beat out a bobbled grounder to second.
“We got the hit when we needed it,” Vial said. “They had chances and they didn’t. Anytime you play in this district it is going to come down to who makes the most mistakes. They are a great team with tremendous coaches and fabulous players that play hard. Coming here and winning is unbelievable.”
Hahnville would place runners in scoring position in both the sixth and seventh innings but could not manufacture runs. Hope Mair beat out a grounder to open the sixth and Parent hit Courtney
Dutreix after striking out Jia Bridges but Gaubert and Candies grounded out to end the inning. Cancienne beat out a bunt to open the seventh but left first early. Debruler reached on an error one out later and Parent hit Barre before Hope Mair grounded out to the circle.
Kandace Boudreaux beat out a grounder with one out in St. Amant’s sixth inning but pinch running Karli LaBauve was thrown out attempting to steal second and Parent grounded out. Templet drew a one-out walk in the seventh inning before Martin and Luquette grounded out to end the game.
Webre and Debruler lined consecutive one-out singles in the bottom of the first to give the Lady Tigers their biggest threat before scoring.
St. Amant threatened in both the third and fourth innings but put no runs on the scoreboard. Templet drew a one-out walk in the third before Martin lined to left but Candies retired the next two batters to end the inning.
Boudreaux lined off Candies with two outs in the fourth before Parent drew a walk but Brooke Capello grounded into a fielder’s choice to end the inning.
Barre was 1 for 3 with two RBIs and Cancienne was 1 for 3 with one run. Boudreaux and Martin were each 1 for 3.