Barbe eliminates Lady Gators in 5A quarterfinals

Peter Silas Pasqua
St. Amant’s Bridget Buquoi catches a pop up in the second inning of the Lady Gators’ 2-0 Class 5A quarterfinal loss to Barbe Friday evening.

SULPHUR - St. Amant surrendered single runs in the first and fourth innings as Barbe pitcher Sara Corbello held the Lady Gators to two hits on way to 2-0 Class 5A quarterfinal playoff loss Friday night in the LHSAA Top 56 State Softball Tournament at Frasch Park.

“The pitcher did exactly what we thought she would do,” St. Amant head coach Scott Nielson said. “We worked on it all week. We got two hits tonight. They didn’t get a whole lot of hits but they got them when they needed them and they made the pitches when they needed to. It is what is.”

“I am so disappointed for my seniors. They put so much into the program and I wish it could have been different for them. They are going to learn from this. Brick walls are put there not necessarily to keep you out but are to see who wants it bad enough to run through them.”

No. 10 seed Barbe advanced to the state final falling 3-1 to champion St. Thomas More Saturday night after defeating No. 27 Denham Springs in the semifinals Saturday afternoon. Second seeded St. Amant ended the season with an 29-5 overall record.

Corbello struckout seven while walking five. Aime Parent took the loss for St. Amant giving up six hits and one walk while striking out four.

“Our goal for today was to have quality at bats and be aggressive at the plate,” Barbe head coach Sarah Portie said. “We did that by scoring first. Sara has pitched out of jams with bases loaded and no out all season. She did an excellent job today and hit her spots. That is all we can ask.

“You can’t be intimidated. You have to play your game and our girls really did that. We were a little nervous at the beginning but we executed at the plate and they didn’t.”

St. Amant threatened in the top of the first inning when Bridget Buquoi drew a two-out walk and Melanie Parker lined a double pass second to put runners in scoring position but Corbello struckout Kandace Boudreaux leaving them stranded.

“The big change was when we had runners in scoring position in the first inning and didn’t score,” Nielson said. “We didn’t have quality at bats. It doesn’t how many hits you get. You can win with one hit if you get it when you need it and we didn’t get it. My hat’s off to them. They did a great job and so did their pitcher.”

Parent walked the first batter she faced, Megan Flavin, and Taylor Goree reached on a bunt with no one covering first. Brooke David lined to center to put Barbe ahead 1-0. St. Amant got out of the inning courtesy groundouts sandwiched around Shelbie Reed’s bunt to the circle that forced Goree out at home to catcher Emily Douglas.

“We called a pitch out and threw a strike,” Nielson said. “They bunted the girl over and we didn’t have anybody to cover first. They did the job. We just didn’t have a whole lot of opportunities. Neither did they but they took advantage of theirs.  I guess it just wasn’t meant to be.”

The next eight batters were retired in order before Corbello walked Douglas with two outs in the top of the third but pinch running Haley Jara was thrown out by catcher David to shortstop Goree.

Goree lined a double in front of the left fielder with one out in the third but was left stranded courtesy two groundouts.

Parker lined over second with one out in the fourth inning and stole but was left stranded when Corbello struckout Parent.

Parent hit Reed to open the bottom half. Meredith Williams lined to right one out later to give Barbe a 2-0 lead. The Lady Gators got out the inning with out any further damage.

Brooke Capello drew a walk to open the fifth but Corbello retired the next three batters she faced.

Goree opened the bottom half with a single and Corbello lined pass second one out later but reliever Amanda Martin forced a fielder’s choice and a pop up to the circle to get out of the jam.

Flavin robbed Douglas with a diving catch in left field to open the sixth and Corbello sent the Lady Gators down in order.

Boudreaux drew a walk to open the seventh inning but Corbello retired the next three Lady Gators in order forcing Gabrielle Templet to fly out to right ending the game.

St. Amant’s Emily Douglas tags out Barbe’s Taylor Goree at home plate in the first inning of the Lady Gators 2-0 loss in the Class 5A quarterfinals of the LHSAA Top 56 Softball?State Tournament Friday evening.