Lady Lions end losing streak against Lady Bulldogs

Kyle Riviere
Gonzales Weekly Citizen
Ascension Christian’s Hallie Dupre (left) was 1-2 with a walk and an RBI in the Lady Lions’ 2-1 win over Ascension Catholic.

Ascension Christian’s 2-1 win over Ascension Catholic on Wednesday evening was low on action. There were only five combined hits and three combined runs.

But it was a special performance for the Lady Lions. It marked the first time the softball program has ever taken down Ascension Catholic. And in doing so, it locked up Ascension Christian’s first-ever District 7-1A title.

But it didn’t come easy for the Lady Lions. After a productive first inning, Ascension Christian had trouble generating any kind of offense.

“Their pitcher was great. She kept us off-balanced. We left too many people on base and really struggled to get timely hits. But overall, it was a great win for us,” Lady Lion head coach George Gutierrez said.

Although, Ascension Christian got off to a tremendous start.

In the top of the first inning, the Lady Lions began the game with three straight hits. Those hits were supplied by Harper Dupre, Layla Thompson and Hallie Dupre.

Hallie Dupre’s single drove in Harper Dupre. Then Maddie Gautreau laid down a sac bunt that scored Thompson to give Ascension Christian a 2-0 lead.

In the second, Emma Gray came up with an infield single and Harper Dupre walked, but both players ended the inning stranded on base.

Meanwhile, Ascension Catholic didn’t get its first hit until the bottom of the third. Mackenzie Marroy singled, but she was also left on base.

Ascension Christian had its best chance to extend its lead in the fifth. The Lady Lions loaded the bases when Hallie Dupre was hit by a pitch and Gautreau and Michelle Juban got on by way of a fielder’s choice.

But again, Ascension Christian couldn’t bring those runners home. The Lady Lions also stranded two base-runners in the sixth.

In the bottom of the seventh, with Ascension Catholic still trailing 2-0, Aubrey Delatte drew a leadoff walk, and Sydney Viallon singled.

Sarah Esneault reached base on a Lady Lion fielding error, which also allowed Delatte to score and cut the deficit to 2-1.

However, Gautreau was able to close out the game for Ascension Christian with a big strikeout.

She put forth a sensational performance as he pitched seven complete innings, surrendering just two hits and no earned runs. She also struck out nine batters.

Viallon pitched for Ascension Catholic, and she was terrific as well. She held the Lady Lions to just four hits and two runs.

“It was really tough for the fielders today. The wind was blowing the whole game,” Gutierrez said. “Layla Thompson made some really big plays. The outfielders that caught the ball for both teams did a great job. With the wind blowing in like it was, it was a really hard defensive game, especially for the outfielders. Credit our girls, they got the job done.”

Marroy and Viallon produced the Lady Bulldogs’ only two hits.

As for the Lady Lions, Hallie Dupre was 1-2 with a walk and an RBI. Thompson was 1-2 with two walks, and she scored a run.

The game was huge for the Lady Lions, but Coach Gutierrez said that there are still lots of challenges ahead for his team.

“I tried not to make a big deal out of this game,” Gutierrez said. “You can talk to them and talk to them, but they were really emotional for this. For Maddie’s last three pitches, she was almost hyperventilating. It was a big win, but our season is really just starting. We have Assumption tomorrow, we have the all-select tournament, St. Thomas More, Archbishop Hannan, Lafayette Christian and we have Dutchtown at the end of next week.”