Live Oak powers past Walker

Advocate file photo by BRIANNA PACIORKAWalker shortstop Katelyn McKenzie reaches for the ball as Live Oak’s Payton Gremillion slides into second base during last season’s game. Gremillion is one of Live Oak’s top hitters.
Advocate file photo by BRIANNA PACIORKAWalker shortstop Katelyn McKenzie reaches for the ball as Live Oak’s Payton Gremillion slides into second base during last season’s game. Gremillion is one of Live Oak’s top hitters.

WATSON — It took Live Oak’s Lady Eagles only three swings to collect all the runs they needed in posting an 8-2 home softball win over Walker on Tuesday.

Freshman catcher Katelynn McLin had two of those swings, blasting a three-run home run to left field in the second inning and a two-run double in the third.

Center fielder Megan Louviere added a two-run triple in the second as Live Oak (17-5, 7-0 in District 4-5A) scored five runs against Walker pitcher Cassie Ard.

“I was just concentrating on keeping my (left) shoulder up, and I was seeing the ball really well today,” McLin said. “I haven’t hit that well against Cassie (Ard) before, but today I did. I thought the second ball (the double) might be out. I hoped it was.”

The win gave the Lady Eagles a district sweep over their Livingston Parish rivals. They defeated Walker (15-8, 3-4) 11-6 in the first round of district play.

“People talk about the Denham Springs rivalry, and it is a big rivalry, but I feel like this win is a real feather in our caps,” Live Oak coach Michelle Morris said. “We’re a strong hitting team. We feel like all of our players can hit, and the power we had today was like a gift.

“Katelynn (McLin) got her first high school home run earlier in the season, and she’s kept it going. She’s also a real team leader.”

It was also a good day for McLin’s fellow ninth-grade teammates. Pitcher Savannah Hall scattered eight hits as she picked up her 10th win of the season.

First baseman Hailey Freeman scored two runs, and third baseman Lauren Brown also scored a run and made two big defensive plays.

Aside from the three big hits that led to seven runs in the second and third innings, Ard finished with a respectable worksheet, allowing only one more run and five more hits the rest of the way.

“I thought we pitched better than the number of runs showed, and overall I thought we played well,” Walker coach Daniel Desselle said. “We played hard, and we played right up to the end.

“We’re a small-ball team, and to be successful we have to get the bats rolling and keep the ball in play. We missed a couple of bunt opportunities today, and we made a couple of defensive mistakes we don’t usually make,” he said.

One of those bunt opportunities came in the second inning when Walker catcher Taylor Fuchs, who was 3-for-3, opened with a double and took third before Hall carried the ball back into the circle.

After Mattie Ort struck out, the Lady Cats tried to squeeze home courtesy runner Morgan Berry, but Brown handled Taylor Lockwood’s bunt flawlessly and threw Berry out on a close play at the plate.

That play gave the Live Oak defense a boost, snuffed a possible Walker rally and set the stage for the Eagles’ five-run explosion in the bottom of the inning.

Walker’s runs came in the fourth inning when it strung
together three singles and an RBI double by Lockwood.

Live Oak made another defensive play to save another run with Berry being put out again at home, this time on a relay play from Louviere to Brown to McLin.

Live Oak added the final run of the game in the sixth when Sarah Sepeda drove in Lauren Brown with a single.