SULPHUR — There’s something to be said for a high-powered team that excels at the highest level. The story of an underdog scoring an upset can be equally compelling.
Two New Orleans area teams, John Curtis and Mount Carmel Academy, provided both scenarios as the Louisiana High School Athletic Association’s Fastpitch 56 State Softball Tournament began Friday at Frasch Park.
Top-seeded Curtis powered its way to an 11-1 five-inning victory over No. 22 Winnfield in Class 2A quarterfinal action. Ninth-seeded Mount Carmel Academy pulled off the upset, ousting No. 2 seed Hahnville 5-2 in 5A.
A dramatic ninth-inning home run by Bailey Tuminello lifted two-time defending champion Archbishop Hannan to a 1-0 victory over Central Catholic-Morgan City in 1A.
Second-seeded Riverside Academy in 2A and No. 3 Belle Chasse in 4A were also winners. Destin Vicknair struck out 16 for RCA. The winners advance to Saturday’s semifinals that start at 11 a.m. Finals begin at 5 p.m.
Simone Mayer’s two-RBI double in the second inning helped set the tone for Mount Carmel in its win over a Hahnville team that had played in the past two 5A title games.
The Cubs (23-6) also had some stellar defensive plays, including a seventh-inning catch in foul territory by left fielder Myan Sandifer. It was the fourth time HHS and MCA played this season.
“People were on the bases, and Simone came up with a big hit,” Mount Carmel coach Jake Pierron said. “Everybody played a game. I’m extremely proud.
“They scored a run on the home run but we told them (MCA players) one run wasn’t going to win it. They won two, and we won two but we won the one when it counted.”
Brooke Lee had a home run and three RBIs to pace Curtis (30-1), the defending 2A state champion. Katie Brignac tossed a one-hitter and struck out eight. Heather Scully added two doubles and three RBIs for the defending 2A champions.
“We had a little hiccup in the second inning, but other than that we did a good job,” Curtis coach Jerry Godfrey said. “I was pleased with our quality at-bats. We’ve been working on our hitting and it was nice to see that pay off.”
A record crowd of 9,709 attended Friday’s games.
MOUNT CARMEL 5, HAHNVILLE 2: Hahnville (29-4) was the 2011 5A champion and the runner-up last year. The Tigers took a 1-0 lead on solo home run by Lauren Simar in the bottom of the first inning.
Mayer doubled after Jessica Kingston walked and Amanda Held reached on an error. Mayer’s double scored Kingston and courtesy runner Alexa Songy, giving the Cubs a lead they would never relinquish.
Sandifer singled and scored on a sacrifice fly in the fifth, making it a 4-1 game. Hahnville got a run back in the sixth.
The Cubs led 5-2 in the seventh when HHS got two runners on before Sandifer flipped over the fence while catching a fly ball in foul territory for the second out. Baxter corralled the last out in center field. Caitlyn Betbeze scattered six hits to pick up the win.
LIVE OAK 5, FONTAINEBLEAU 0: A four-run fifth inning gave fourth-seeded Live Oak (25-5) the breathing room it needed to oust No. 5 Fontainebleau.
Fontainebleau (25-5) stranded nine baserunners. The Bulldogs loaded the bases in the fourth and had two runners on in two other innings. Shelby Rome and Ava Zimmerman each finished 1-for-3 to pace FHS.
Savannah Hall scattered six hits for LOHS (25-5). Meagan Louviere was 2-for-4 for the Eagles and also made a key catch in left field to help her team work out of the bases-loaded jam in the fourth.
Brittney Gunter and Payton Gremillion had RBI hits for LOHS in its sixth-inning surge. Meagan Louviere was 2-for-4 for Live Oak.
BELLE CHASSE 13, DERIDDER 3: Fourth-seeded Belle Chasse (30-3) got a 10-strikeout pitching performance from Jackie Johnson in a five-inning game.
The Cardinals scored four runs in both the fourth and fifth innings to end the game. Brianna Duquette finished 2-for-3 with two doubles to help lead BCHS. Hayley Barbazon also was 2-for-3 for the winners.
BUCKEYE 11, ST. CHARLES CATHOLIC 1: Mikayla Brown tossed a one-hitter and defending champion Buckeye pounded out nine hits in a five-inning game. A six-run third inning broke the game open as the Panthers (25-2) sent 12 batters to the plate.
Mandi Moses and Shae Shreckengost each had a home run for the winners. Moses homer came in the third inning, while Shreckengost’s solo shot came in the sixth. Destiny Wesley’s double in the fourth scored Jessica Mire, who had walked for St. Charles (24-5).
RIVERSIDE 8, DEQUINCY 0: Vicknair allowed just one hit and did not walk a batter. She also had a home run for a Rebels squad that had 12 hits.
Erica Delaneauville had three hits, including a double and two singles. Katie Bailey had two doubles as Riverside scored runs in four of its six at-bats.
CURTIS 11, WINNFIELD 1: Bethany McDowell, who led off the second with a double and eventually scored, had the only hit for Winnfield.
Curtis scored runs in all five innings, including a four-run third inning. Scully’s three-RBI double in the fourth came after WHS pitcher Kaitlyn Clements walked three to load the bases.
Lee’s two-run home run came in the three-run fifth-inning that closed the game. Brignac issued no walks and faced just two batters of the minimum to pick up the win.
HANNAN 1, CENTRAL CATHOLIC 0: The home run by Tuminello gave the two-time defending 1A champion Hawks (20-8) the only run they needed to advance.
The home run ended the pitcher’s duel between Hannan’s Maddi Shelton and CCMC’s Megan Landry. Both pitchers yielded four hits. Shelton struck out four, and Landry had six strikeouts for the Eagles (23-7).
No player had multiple hits. Kimberly Nilsson, Lindsey Osbon and Carley Eschlerman all finished 1-for-3 for Hannan.
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