St. Amant rallies past Dutchtown in seventh

Kyle Riviere
Gonzales Weekly Citizen
St. Amant's Alix Franklin rounds third after crushing a two-run homer in the seventh that helped the Lady Gators beat Dutchtown, 6-3.

For the first six innings of St. Amant's Monday-evening road game against Dutchtown, they were outplayed by the Lady Griffins. It resulted in a 3-0 deficit.

But when the Lady Gators were down to their final three outs, they showed why they're still the defending Class 5A state champs. In the final inning, St. Amant hit two home runs. They contributed to a six-run explosion that turned into a 6-3 victory.

"They didn't want to lose," Lady Gator head coach Amy Pitre said. "I give Dutchtown a lot of credit. Their pitcher, Sidney Dunham did a great job. She threw strikes, and we didn't settle in. We were trying to pull the ball and do too much, and their defense was phenomenal. Their shortstop (Kassidy Hood) and third baseman (Madi Mitchell) made some great plays. They deserve a lot of credit, but our kids deserve a lot of credit, too. They don't like to lose. It took them seven innings to make an adjustment, but I'm glad they did."

Sidney Dunham was superb for the first six innings. Even when St. Amant found ways to get people on base, she was able to escape the innings unscathed. Through the first six frames, the Lady Gators stranded eight base-runners.

St. Amant's Addison Jackson was also great from the circle, but she ran into some trouble in the bottom on the fourth.

The Lady Griffins loaded the bases after back-to-back-to-back singles by Mitchell, Hood and Brynne Songy. Alexa Womack then walked in a run to give Dutchtown a 1-0 lead.

However, Jackson found a way to escape the inning without giving up anymore runs.

But in the sixth, the Lady Griffin bats got to her again. The bases were loaded after a Mitchell double, a Songy single and a Hood walk.

Riley Bennett then drove in two runs with a double that gave Dutchtown a 3-0 lead. St. Amant faced this deficit, down to its final three outs.

Jackson started the rally for the Lady Gators in the seventh as she reached base on an infield single. Alix Franklin then crushed a two-run homer that cut the deficit to one run.

Next, Julia Kramer doubled, and the score was tied when Shelby Whittington drove in a run with a double of her own.

Mary Beth Zeller walked to join Whittington on base. It set the table for a three-run homer by Sophie Smith that gave St. Amant its first lead of the game at 6-3.

In the bottom of the seventh, Jackson turned the Lady Griffins away in order to ice away the victory. Jackson pitched a complete game, surrendering seven hits and three runs and striking out nine.

Prior to the rough seventh inning, Dunham held St. Amant to five hits and no runs.

At the plate, Franklin went 3-3 with a walk, a home run and two RBIs. Smith was 1-4 with a homer and three RBIs. Kramer was 3-4, and Whittington was 2-4 with an RBI.

As for Dutchtown, Bennett was 1-3 with two RBIs. Mitchell and Songy were both 2-4, and Hood was 2-2 with a walk.

The victory improved St. Amant's overall record to 20-2 for the season.

"All year, we've been talking about finishing March strong. It's like March Madness for us," Pitre said. "It's a grind. We play every weekend. We just came off of West Monroe and North DeSoto games back to back last Saturday. I just want to see us finish strong and play our best ball going into the very end. If we're playing our best ball going into the playoffs, I think we have a great shot."