St. John meets Ascension Catholic  in softball showdown

When senior pitcher Kamryn Theriot and center fielder Jessie Brown proposed a players’ only meeting midway through the season, St. John- Plaquemine softball coach Oliver Crockett simply got out of the way.

The Eagles had suffered shutout losses March 15 to Archbishop Hannan and Albany in Brusly’s tournament, prompting the spontaneous meeting that Crockett said helped define the team’s season.

“There was a lot of frustration amongst the girls,” Crockett said.

“They talked it out, and we’ve gone forward from that point on. It’s been all our leadership on the team. It was pretty big for us.”

St. John responded in its next tournament game with a mercy-rule victory over Class 4A St. Michael the Archangel and never looked back, carrying a nine-game win streak into Thursday’s regular-season finale at home.

What’s at stake for St. John (18-9) is the opportunity for an outright District 9-1A championship against archrival
Ascension Catholic (19-4, 8-1) at 5 p.m.

“With it being Ascension Catholic, it’s a big rivalry between the two schools,” Crockett said. “Everybody knows everybody. They played ball against each other in the summer. Any time a district championship comes down between us, it’s a big deal.”

Ascension Catholic is on a six-game win streak and has won 14 of its past 15 games since a 3-0 home loss to St. John on March 19.

Although a game back, the Bulldogs are the reigning district champion and hold the No. 5 power rating in the Louisiana High School Athletic Association’s latest power ratings compared to No. 9 for the Eagles.

St. John has mowed through District 9-1A with eight run-rule victories in nine outings. In the Eagles last three league wins, they have won by a combined 51-2 score.

Theriot (12-4, 1.24 ERA, 80 strikeouts) also leads St. John offensively with a .608 batting average and 41 RBIs, while Brown is batting .426 with a team-high seven homers and 42 RBIs. Junior designated hitter/first baseman Brooklyn Pearce (.411, five homers) and junior shortstop Shelbi Strickland (.396, 11 doubles) are the team’s next two top hitters.

“There have been some games in our district where it’s easy to lose focus, and they’ve worked hard to stay focused,” Crockett said. “They’ve kept encouraging each other, and doing the little things and that’s made the difference in the team.”

BRUSLY-CURTIS POSTPONED: The highly anticipated nondistrict softball matchup between Brusly (24-2) at John Curtis Christian (19-0) on Wednesday was postponed because of rain.

Brusly coach Beau Bouvier said there’s a possibility the game, matching the Panthers’ 22-game win streak against the nationally ranked Patriots’ 50-game win streak, could be made up next week.