It was anything but a holiday, or even the day before one, for coaches awaiting the Louisiana High School Athletic Association’s release of its softball playoff pairings.
Some technical glitches slowed the process down on Thursday. But ultimately, coaches got pretty much what they expected.
St. Amant High in Class 5A and Catholic-Pointe Coupee in Class 1A both garnered No. 1 seeds when the playoff brackets were released.
The Gators (28-2) and the Hornets topped the list of Baton Rouge area softball teams heading into the playoffs. SAHS will host No. 32 Chalmette at 5 p.m. Tuesday, while CHSPC (22-3), last year’s 1A champion, will host No. 32 Ringgold in the bidistrict round that must be completed Tuesday.
“There were a few teams that changed moved up or down a few spots in the last week based on what happened with one game,” St. Amant coach Scott Nielson said. “That was significant.
“The fact that the pairings came out the day before what’s a holiday (Good Friday) and a holiday weekend changed things up too. Now instead of maybe trying to play over the weekend, a lot of teams will wait until next week.”
Catholic-PC’s game with Ringgold has not yet been set up. That didn’t keep CHSPC coach Lauren Doucet from setting up the proper playoff scenario for her team at Thursday’s practice.
“We were hot early and need to get on a solid streak now,” Doucet said. “We told our girls today that it didn’t matter if we were No. 1 or No. 32 as long as we’re in the number. We need to play our best from here on out.”
The top-seeded teams in the other classes are Cabrini in Class 4A, John Curtis in 3A, Oak Grove in 2A, Florien in Class B and Hackberry in Class C.
The LHSAA deadline for regional games is April 26. The LHSAA’s State Softball Tournament is set for May 2-3 at Sulphur’s Frasch Park and starts with quarterfinal games in all seven classes.
Brusly (21-8) hosts District 7-3A rival West Feliciana to open its playoff bid. The game also set for 5 p.m. Tuesday is the only one that features two Baton Rouge teams.
Also grabbing No. 3 seeds were Ascension Catholic (21-6) in Class 1A and Live Oak (20-3) in 3A. LOHS will host Ruston, while ACHS will host New Iberia-based Highland Baptist.
The Baton Rouge areas’s 5A teams will again play a key role in the playoff process. Denham Springs (19-5) is seeded fifth and is set to host Captain Shreve. East Ascension (22-8, seeded 10th), Dutchtown (20-9, seeded 11th) and Walker (18-9, seeded 15th) also will host games in the difficult bottom half of the bracket.
“It’s that old cliché, but we’re going to take it one game at a time,” Brusly coach Beau Bouvier said. “We’re happy to be seeded where we are on the bracket and have been pleased with our season so far. But we’re not going to look past Tuesday.
“When you add teams like John Curtis and Evangel to the already tough teams you already have in 3A, it makes the bracket that much tougher. We’re not taking anything for granted.”
Curtis has dominated Class 2A in recent years. Evangel is another 2A power that also moved up to the 3A ranks this year.
Two teams in Class 4A garnered top 10 seedings. Lutcher (14-12) is seeded sixth and is set to host No. 27 Tioga. Ninth-seeded Plaquemine (16-9) draws No. 24 Belle Chasse in the opening round.
Parkview Baptist (16-14) garnered a No. 10 seed and also is part of Baton Rouge’s 3A contingent. Another BR area team seeded St. John-Plaquemine (19-12).
An area team that finds itself in a different classification is Maurepas (14-6), previously a Class C. The Wolves are seeded eighth in Class B.