Parish teams fall short at State Softball Tournament
Three Ascension teams fought their way into the State Softball Tournament in Sulphur last weekend, but none of the three squads could get over the hump and claim a state championship.
From 1A, No. 7 Ascension Catholic made the trip out west and drew a quarterfinals matchup with No. 18 False River.
Though False River came into the playoffs with a losing record, they flourished in the postseason due to the gauntlet of a non-district schedule they were forced to go through. They played 3A and 5A powers the likes of: Lafayette, Fontainebleu, Walker, Central, Zachary, H.L. Bourgeois, Dutchtown, Parkview Baptist and Brusly.
Being so battle-tested proved to pay dividends as they cruised through the two opening rounds and to start the State Softball Tournament, they hammered 22-6 Ascension Catholic 12-5 to reach the semifinals.
The Lady Gators ended up losing to archrival and eventual state champion Catholic High of Pointe Coupee 3-1.
Another team that had their season bitterly ended in the quarterfinals was the No. 6 Dutchtown Lady Griffins in the 5A division.
Dutchtown went 19-7 during the regular season and punched their ticket to Sulphur on the strength of an 11-1 drubbing of Ponchatoula in the first round and a 5-1 win over H.L. Bourgeois in regionals.
For the quarterfinals, they met with defending state champion Sam Houston for the second time this year. The first time they played, Dutchtown won easily 14-4.
However, on this day, they got a totally different No. 19 Sam Houston squad. The Lady Broncos showed their championship pedigree as they pulled away from the Lady Griffins 7-1 to roll their way into the semis.
St. Amant was the only Ascension team to make it out of the quarterfinals.
They opened up the action in Sulphur with an easy 10-0 win over No. 10 Parkway. It was the third straight shutout for the Lady Gators in the playoffs.
Kasey Nielson collected her 21st win of the year as she struck out four and from the plate, she collected four hits.
The St. Amant bats were consistent as always with Kara Gremillion getting two hits--which included a homer. Brooke Roberts had two doubles and four RBIs, and Ali Delany had one double and two runs batted in.
The win was the Lady Gators' 27th straight as they made another trip to the state semifinals--just like they had last year.
Unfortunately for St. Amant, just like last season, they tripped up just two games away from a title.
They faced the red-hot Sam Houston squad that only started the season 6-9. One of those nine losses was a 5-1 defeat to St. Amant. However, once LSU-bound Baylee Corbello got healthy, the Lady Broncos ended the year on a 10-game tear and won their first three playoff games by a combined score of 18-1.
St. Amant actually took a 2-0 lead to start the game with a solo shot by Gremillion in the first inning. And in the second, Jordan Hartman got herself an RBI-single.
However, those ended up being the only two hits and only two runs Corbello gave up for the rest of the game.
The Lady Gator lead lasted up until the sixth when Sam Houston finally scored their first runs of the game. Taylor Edwards hit a three-run homer to give the Lady Broncos the lead. They scored another assurance run in the seventh and sealed away the 4-2 win.
The bitter defeat was St. Amant's first since the second game of the season on Feb. 20.
Sam Houston kept the momentum going. They went on to the championship game and demolished Mt. Carmel 8-0 to claim their third straight title.
The Lady Gators finished the season with a complete record of 27-3--almost identical to their final record from last year.