PINEVILLE – The ending of the second game of the Louisiana High School Coaches Association All-Star softball series left the players feeling flat on Saturday. They wanted more, and for good reason.
The East took advantage of two West errors in the bottom of the seventh inning to score the tying run as the game ended in a 2-2 tie.
There is no provision for extra innings in the rules governing the LHSCA games that feature some of the state’s top seniors.
The West won the first game played Friday night, 10-3.
“I could still keep playing,” said Denham Springs’ Natalie Landry, who was named the Most Outstanding Player for the East squad. “I could go all day … It’s hard ending in a tie.”
Landry was one of 13 all-stars who will play Division I softball next season, continuing her education and playing career at Northwestern State. She was 2-for-2 Saturday at Louisiana College, including a single to center field in the seventh-inning rally.
Landry finished the weekend 3-for-4 with a home run and two runs batted in.
“It was a really big honor just to be chosen to be an all-star,” Landry said.
St. Joseph’s Academy pitcher Caroline Sagrera missed Friday’s 10-3 victory by the West because of an honors and awards night at her school.
Sagrera made her presence known Saturday, starting for the East. She pitched five innings, allowing just three hits and striking out eight.
“I just feel like now I’m getting going,” said Sagrera, who will graduate on Sunday. “I want another game.”
Sagrera, who led her team to the 5A semifinals, took a week off before starting preparation for Saturday’s performance. After a rocky first in which she allowed a hit and walked a batter, Sagrera settled down.
“The first inning, I was so nervous I didn’t have control of my body,” Sagrera said.
The West took a 1-0 lead in the second on a double by Beau Chene’s Kat Dupuis that scored Catie Smith of Oak Hill, who had walked.
The East answered in the bottom of the second on an infield single by Grant’s Nancy Bunting, which scored Buckeye’s Lacie Nugent.
The West regained the lead in the fifth. Taylor Goree, the Most Outstanding Player for the West squad, walked and scored on a fielder’s choice by Evangel Christian’s Jenna Kreamer.
In the bottom of the inning, Goree recorded the defensive play of the two all-star games when she ran from shortstop to make a diving catch of a liner hit by St. Amant’s Whitney Troxclair near the left field line. She got up and fired to first to double off Landry.
The East tied the game in the seventh when shortstop Lindsey Neyland of Evangel allowed a ground ball by Ouachita’s Candace McHugh to go through her legs. Pitcher Hannah Haydel of Hahnville got the next two batters before Landry singled to put runners on the corner.
Troxclair followed with a smash to second baseman Courtney Dutreix of Hahnville. Dutreix could not handle it for an error, allowing McHugh to score.
Haydel then got two ground outs to end the game.
“I would want to keep playing,” said Goree, who is headed to McNeese State next year. “You can’t end a game in a tie.”