SPORTS

SCRATCHING AND CLAWING: Lady Gators rally by EA with two runs in third inning

Peter Silas Pasqua
St. Amant’s Amanda Martin touches home plate after knocking the ball away from East Ascension’s Tiffany Robinson in the second inning of the Lady Gators’ 2-1 District 6-5A victory Tuesday afternoon.

St. Amant crossed two runs in the third inning to rally past East Ascension for a 2-1 District 6-5A victory Tuesday afternoon at Lady Spartan Park.

“It is like they say,” St. Amant head coach Scott Nielson said. “If EA and St. Amant play tiddledy winks on a Sunday night in the dead of winter it is going to be sold out. There is no need for motivation because it is a natural rivalry where the kids know each other and have grown up playing ball against each other.”

The Lady Gators sweep the season series over East Ascension after a 6-2 victory last month and remain sitting in sole possession of second place in district play. The Lady Spartans and Dutchtown also remain in a tie for third place after both suffering defeats Tuesday.

“This time around, we were much more relaxed,” East Ascension head coach Amy Pitre said. “Today, we hit the ball but just not at the right time. When you play a good team, one run should never win the game. I knew we had to score more than one to beat them.”

Aime Parent picked up the win for St. Amant going the distance and allowing one run on five hits and one walk while striking out six.

“Aime has been doing a good job of pitching the ball, hitting her spots and changing speeds,” Nielson said. “They took advantage of some times when she missed her spots like they are supposed to and we took some bad angles in the outfield. They have a really good team with two good pitchers but Aime came through today.”

Chelsea LeBlanc took the loss allowing two runs on five hits and no walks while striking out six in six innings of relief. Rachel LeCoq started for the Lady Spartans and gave up one hit while striking out one.

Emily Douglas lined a double through the center of the infield with one out in the top of the first inning and Melanie Parker was hit by a pitch before runners advanced on a pass ball but a groundout got the Lady Spartans out of the inning.

The next six batters were retired in order by Parent and LeBlanc.

LeCoq lined to left to lead off the bottom of the second and one out later LeBlanc turned on a double to the left corner to plate a run giving East Ascension a 1-0 lead. Parent walked Olivia Maher but struckout Brooke Courville to end the inning after a groundout.

St. Amant quickly answered in the bottom half.

Amanda Martin beat out a grounder and stole second after LeBlanc struckout Kelly Luquette. Douglas then lined a double pass short and Martin kicked the ball out of catcher Tiffany Robinson’s glove on the slide home to put the Lady Gators on the board.

“The catcher was blocking the plate without the ball which is obstruction,” Nielson said. “She took a really wide turn around third base and if she would have taken a proper angle that play would not have been as close as it was. She has a ton of speed and we try to hide her in the nine hole because she gets on base an awful lot and has been a significant part of our offense this year.

“She slid into her arm,” Pitre said. “I think the ball and the girl got there at the same time. As long as she is making a play for the ball she can be on the plate and the girl coming slid right into her and the ball flew out. It was a good play.”

Bridget Buquoi’s sacrifice fly scored pinch running Haley Jara to give St. Amant a 2-1 lead. Parker lined pass short but Kandace Boudreaux’s groundout ended the damage.

The next 15 batters were retired in order with Parent fielding consecutive outs to the circle to open the bottom of the third and fourth and another to end the fifth.

Boudreaux reached on an error with two outs in the sixth inning but LeBlanc struckout Parent.

Jade St. Pierre lined a double to the right gap with one out in the bottom half and Robinson lined pass first to put runners on the corners but Parent struckout LeCoq and popped up Shelby Young to get out of the inning.

Gabrielle Templet dropped a blooper to shallow left with one out in the top of the seventh inning and Luquette grounded through the center of the infield to put runners in scoring position one out later but a grounder ended the inning.

Maher lined a double to center with one out in the bottom half and Brandi Cedotal reached on an error to put runners on the corners but Courville grounded into a fielder’s choice and Evan Babin grounded out to first baseman Templet unassisted to end the game.

Douglas was 2 for 4 with one RBI, while Martin was 1 for 3 with one run.

LeCoq was 1 for 3 with one run, while LeBlanc was 1 for 3 with one RBI.

East Ascension’s Evan Babin is ruled out on a grounder to first as St. Amant’s Bridget Buquoi registers the force in the sixth inning of the Lady Gators’ 2-1 victory Tuesday afternoon.