Parish softball stars make District 5-5A team

Kyle Riviere
St. Amant's Abby McKey was named District 5-5A MVP. Photo by Kyle Riviere.

The high-school softball season concluded last week as teams throughout the state celebrated championship victories.

No Ascension team was able to advance past the quarterfinals this year, but it was still a heck of a ride for many parish squads.

As always, things were interesting in District 5-5A. Last week, a grand total of 28 Ascension players were recognized as the league released its all-district team.

St. Amant had the best year of the three parish teams in District 5-5A.

Under first-year head coach Amy Pitre, the Lady Gators won another district championship. They were dominant in league play—going undefeated for the fifth straight season.

But their dominance was not reserved to District 5-5A.

After starting the year in a 2-3 hole, St. Amant won 21 of their final 22 regular season games and entered the playoffs on a 16-game winning streak.

They were awarded the No. 3 seed in the Class 5A postseason, and they swept through the first two rounds—beating No. 30 John Ehret and No. 14 Northshore by a combined score of 25-1.

With the victory, they again reached Sulphur for the state tournament, but for the second straight season, they were eliminated in the quarterfinals.

The Lady Gators let a 4-1 lead slip through their fingers in what became a 6-4 loss to 10th-seeded Live Oak.

In their tremendous quarterfinal run, 10 Lady Gators were named to the All-District 5-5A team.

Most notably, senior outfielder Abby McKey was named the district’s Most Valuable Player, and Pitre was named the district’s Coach of the Year.

McKey was just one of the key cogs in a St. Amant offense that put up big numbers all season. In just district play alone, the Lady Gators averaged a ridiculous 17 runs per contest.

During the season, Pitre described St. Amant’s potent offense perfectly when she said, “Once our offense gets going, we get going. It just takes one person, and we have a lot of people capable of doing big things.”

Some of their other top sluggers that made the all-district first team were LSU commit Taylor Tidwell, LSU-Eunice signee McKenzie King, Pamela Carbo, Jadyn Rumfellow, Brooke Romano and Madison Hurt.

Also making the first team was freshman pitcher Alyssa Romano.

Romano had to step in during the Lady Gators’ 2-3 skid at the beginning of the season, and Pitre said that she got stronger with every game she pitched.

Second-team selections for St. Amant were Chandler Guedry and Jesse Allison.

St. Amant may have won the district, but parish foe Dutchtown actually placed the most players on the All-District 5-5A team with a whopping 14.

Despite fielding plenty of youth in 2017—especially in the circle—the Lady Griffins still managed to finish the regular season with a solid 19-14 record and second-place finish in the district.

In the playoffs, Dutchtown upset No. 16 Destrehan, 9-4, in the opening round, before losing to top-seeded and defending state champs Alexandria in the second round.

Headlining the all-district first team for Dutchtown was Carly Turner—who made it as a freshman.

Another Lady Griffin freshman to make the first team was catcher Page Patterson.

Rounding out the rest of the first team were Hannah Martin, Blayne Pence, Baylee Bourgeois and Denae Lowe.

Dutchtown’s other standout freshman pitcher, Erin Hardy was a second-team selection, along with Skylar Boyd, Kaylee Sharpe and Camille Dawsey.

Finally, the Lady Griffins had four honorable mention selections in Alexis Jara, Maci Gentile, Rylee Martin and Alyssa Grenfell.

The East Ascension Lady Spartans had one of their worst seasons in recent memory as they were forced to replace all of their starters from last year’s team under first-year head coach Katie Ocmand.

With such a rebuilding project, East Ascension finished just 9-22 and missed the playoffs.

Still, five Lady Spartans earned their way onto the all-district team.

Sophomore infielder Rachel Ducote and junior utility player Grace Bagwell were both first-team selections.

Pitcher Erin Nicol, catcher Brynnen Gautreau and infielder Meagan Ross all made the second team.