Denham Springs, East Ascension fall short
SULPHUR — District 5-5A co-champions St. Amant and St. Joseph’s Academy played their own game of divide and conquer, winning quarterfinals at the Louisiana High School Athletic Association’s State Softball Tournament on Friday at Frasch Park.
The second-seeded Gators and No. 5 Redstickers won back-to-back games to advance to separate Class 5A semifinals set for 1 p.m. Saturday.
Hayley Lavigne’s single brought Jaci Lavigne with the game-winning run as St. Amant rallied for a 5-4 victory over Live Oak in a quarterfinal game that matched two local teams.
Caroline Sagrera pitched a three-hitter and Morgan Miller had a solo home run in St. Joseph’s 4-0 win over No. 4 Barbe-Lake Charles.
The other two area quarterfinalists lost. Defending 5A champion Hahnville scored six runs in the first inning en route to a 6-3 win over East Ascension. Sam Houston took a 12-2 win over the other local 5A team, Denham Springs.
St. Amant (26-3) advances to play Hahnville (30-2), while SJA (26-5) meets Sam Houston (20-4).
“The good news is we get to play another day,” St. Amant coach Scott Nielson said.
ST. AMANT 5, LIVE OAK 4: SAHS had to twice rally from deficits in the game that matched teams from different local 5A districts.
It was the second time that the Gators had played No. 10 seed LOHS, of 4-5A. Early in the season, St. Amant defeated Eagles (23-7) 10-0 in a tourney game.
“Michelle (Morris) has done a great job at Live Oak for a long time and they’ve got excellent players,” St. Amant coach Scott Nielson said. “The game was nothing less than what we thought it was going to be.
“I’m proud of my kids because they got behind and they battled, they fought and they clawed. We get a chance to play one more game and we’re thankful for the opportunity.”
Brooke Morris was 4-for-4 with an RBI to lead Live Oak. Sarah Sepeda finished 3-for-4 with two RBIs for the Eagles, who also got three hits each from Meagan Louviere. The Eagles stranded 10 baserunners.
Kara Gremillion, Madison Edmonston and Whitney Troxclair were all 2-for-4 for St. Amant. Edmonston also had an RBI in the final inning.
“We do realize it’s been a theme of ours that we’ve left runners on base,” Morris said. “We had a lot more control in this game and tried to hold to a couple of runs here and there.
“But of course all it takes is a couple of runs to win the ball game and they just went ahead of us at the right time to win the game.”
ST. JOSEPH’S 4, BARBE 0: SJA (26-5) took the lead on Miller’s second-inning home run to right-center field.
That gave Sagrera, who struck out six, the advantage she needed to pitch the Redstickers to the first tourney win ever.
“Being here last year made a world of difference, even though we lost,” St. Joseph’s coach Billy Stears said. “We had to stay focused and just play. Getting the lead early was big for us. With Caroline on the mound that definitely gave us an advantage.”
Sagrera helped her own cause in the pitcher’s duel with Barbe’s Sara Corbello with an RBI double in the third. Kristen Courville’s single that scored Sagrera gave the Redstickers a 3-0 lead. Sagrera was 2-for-4 for the winners. No player had more than one hit for Barbe. Callie Boatner also had an RBI hit for Barbe, which only got one runner as far as third base.
SAM HOUSTON 12, DENHAM SPRINGS 2: Sam Houston scored a total of seven runs in three innings, including four runs each in the third and fifth inning. Chelsea Evans powered the Broncos (20-4), finishing 4-for-4 at the plate with five RBIs.
One of Evans’ hits was a three-run homer in the third inning. Pitcher Baylee Corbello scattered six hits and was also 2-for-3.
Jorie McDonald had a solo home run for Denham Springs. Sydney McCullough and Kurstyn David each had two hits for DSHS (21-11).
HAHNVILLE 6, EAST ASCENSION 3: Hannah Haydel struck out nine to pace Hahnville, which had six hits.
The Tigers used two hits, two passed balls and two errors to score its six runs in the bottom of the first on EAHS (16-16).
Kyleigh Leblanc finished 2-for-4 for East Ascension and drove in all three runs for the Spartans. Leblanc had a two-run double in the fifth and an RBI double in the seventh.
HHS’ Amye Barre also was 2-for-4 with an RBI. Barre and LeBlanc were the only players with multiple hits.