Four parish softball teams make playoff field
Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, there hasn’t been a Louisiana softball state champion crowned in nearly two years. That will soon be changing.
The regular season came to a close thisweek, and on Friday, the LHSAA officially released its softball playoff brackets.
Four Ascension Parish teams made the postseason field—two in Class 5A and two in Division IV.
In Class 5A, St. Amant led the charge. The Lady Gators earned not just the highest seeding of parish 5A teams, but they also earned the highest seeding of any softball team in the parish.
The Lady Gators made the postseason field as the No. 2 seed in 5A. St. Amant finished the regular season with a 23-2 record that culminated in yet another district championship.
In addition to the Lady Gators’ high state ranking, St. Amant has also been ranked as the 11th-best team in the country by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association.
The Lady Gators won the 2019 Class 5A state championship by defeating Barbe, 3-1. However, St. Amant didn’t have the opportunity to defend its title in 2020, when the season was cancelled midway through due to the pandemic.
In the opening round of the 2021 postseason, the Lady Gators drew a home matchup against No. 31 Captain Shreve, a team that went just 12-20 during the regular season.
Also making the Class 5A playoffs was St. Amant’s district rival, Dutchtown. The Lady Griffins finished as the runners-up in District 5-5A.
Dutchtown finished the regular season with a record of 14-17. They just missed out on hosting a first-round game.
The Lady Griffins earned the No. 17 seed and drew a first-round road matchup against 16th-seeded Benton. Benton finished the regular season with a 14-14 record.
Both Ascension Christian and Ascension Catholic made the Division-IV playoffs.
Ascension Christian earned the No. 3 seed and will host a first-round game. This is the highest seeding the Lady Lion softball program has ever earned for the playoffs.
Ascension Christian won its first-ever district title this past season, and in doing so, the Lady Lions beat parish and district rival Ascension Catholic for the first time ever.
Ascension Christian beat the Lady Bulldogs, 2-1.
Now, they’ll play again. Ascension Catholic earned the No. 14 seeding, which set up a first-round game on the road against the Lady Lions.
During the regular season, the Lady Lions went 12-8. Unfortunately for Ascension Christian, eight of its games were cancelled during the year. Also, all eight of the Lady Lions’ losses came against teams in Class 3A and higher.
The Lady Lions are seeking the program’s first-ever playoff victory.
As for Ascension Catholic, the young Lady Bulldogs fought through some inconsistency in 2021. They finished with a record of 9-9. Like Ascension Christian, Ascension Catholic also had eight of its game cancelled.
Also, six of the Lady Bulldogs’ nine losses came against upper-classification schools.