St. Amant softball nationally ranked by NFCA
One of the certainties in Ascension Parish sports each year is the domination of St. Amant softball.
St. Amant is not only the team other squads in the parish are always looking up at, but it’s the team most other clubs in the state are chasing when it comes to competing for championships.
The 2021 season has been no exception thus far.
Due to the pandemic, St. Amant was unable to defend its Class 5A state title last season, but the Lady Gators have come back with a vengeance in 2021.
St. Amant has run out to an 18-1 start. Not only do the Lady Gators sit at No. 1 in the LHSAA's unofficial power rankings for Class 5A, but St. Amant has earned a national ranking as well.
In a recent USA Today HSS/National Fastpitch Coaches Association's top-25 poll, St. Amant was ranked 10th in the country. In fact, St. Amant is the only Louisiana school in the association's top 25.
Lakewood Ranch High School of Brandenton, Fla., is ranked No. 1.
The St. Amant Lady Gators had an amazing 2019 season. St. Amant went 23-2-1 during the regular season. Then, as the No. 4 seed in Class 5A, the Lady Gators made a run to the state title game, where they met third-seeded Barbe.
In dramatic fashion, St. Amant won the game on a seventh-inning three-run homer by Nicholls signee Julia Kramer. Kramer's homer came when the Lady Gators were trailing 1-0 and down to their final out.
The momentum carried over into 2020 for St. Amant as it began the year with a 13-0 record. However, the Lady Gators' dreams of repeating were dashed when the rest of the season had to be cancelled due to COVID-19.
St. Amant began 2021 with a 12-0 record. That upped its winning steak to 33 games, dating back to its 2019 state championship season.
Finally, the Lady Gators lost their first game to Walker (currently ranked No. 4 in Class 5A), the team they beat in the semifinals in 2019. The defeat was by a razor-thin, 2-1 margin.
This was St. Amant's first loss since March 15, 2019, when it dropped a game against Airline.
But the Lady Gators have rebounded nicely. They have responded with six straight wins. Four of those victories came by four runs or more.
The two close wins came against Sam Houston (7-6), who is currently ranked sixth in the Class 5A power rankings, and Notre Dame (10-7), who is currently the top-ranked team in Division III.
St. Amant has been potent so far in 2021. Thirteen of its 18 victories have come by at least five runs, and the Lady Gators have scored eight or more runs in 14 games. They're currently averaging 10 runs per contest.
And the Lady Gators' wins have not come against cupcakes. They currently have six victories against Class 5A squads ranked in the top 15 of the power rankings (Live Oak twice, Zachary twice, Hahnville and Sam Houston)
Next week, St. Amant will host Central Catholic on Tuesday. Central Catholic is ranked seventh in Division IV.