Dutchtown overpowers Ponchatoula

DHS racks up 13 hits in 11-1 playoff win

“We were solid in all areas: hitting, pitching and defense. In the playoffs, between two evenly matched teams, one big inning can make the difference. ” Danny Roberts,   Airline softball coach

DUTCHTOWN — Jessica Crum and Royelle Cobb smashed three hits apiece to lead Dutchtown’s 13-hit attack.

Crum got things started with a three-run homer in the first and Cobb added the finishing touch with an RBI single in the fifth as Dutchtown defeated Ponchatoula 11-1 in a Class 5A first-round softball playoff game Tuesday.

Sixth-seeded Dutchtown
(20-7) advances to a regional game at No. 22 H.L. Bourgeois. Ponchatoula (12-11) made the playoffs for the first time in four seasons.

Dutchtown scored five runs in the first and four in the third inning. Eight Griffins had hits, and the team was disciplined at the plate as no one struck out and seven reached base via walks or as hit batsmen.

“Our offense has been doing a great job all year,” Dutchtown coach Nancy Ensminger said. “We had a very nice start tonight.”

Ensminger guided the Griffins into the playoffs for the fifth time in seven seasons and is one victory away from the second trip to the state tournament in three seasons.

“This is one of the strongest offensive teams I’ve ever had,” said Ensminger. “We can count on our lineup from 1-9. They’re all very selective in their swings.

“We’re also playing well on defense and turned a big
double play in the second inning.”

Crum smashed her 11th homer of the season in the first inning to put DHS up 3-0. Hannah Schexnailder had a sacrifice fly to score the fifth run.

In the bottom of the third, Dutchtown had three hits ,and Ponchatoula used three pitchers. Ponchatoula starter Raylea Willoughby (7-4) was chased after giving up singles to Cobb and Schexnailder. Dutchtown had eight hits against Willoughby. Shelby Sterling lasted .1 innings and lefty Shayna Sykes went the distance.

Dutchtown’s Bailey Gilleon grounded out, but Cobb scored. Aleah Craighton drew a walk to make it 7-0. Crum added a two-RBI single for a 9-0 lead. Crum leads the Griffins with 42 RBIs and was 3-for-3.

Ponchatoula’s Amber Landry homered down the left-field line in the top of the fourth to cut the deficit to 9-1.

“We have a young group of girls and the future is bright,” Ponchatoula coach Hollie Thompson said. “Amber hits the ball well for us. We’ll learn from this.

“Dutchtown is a solid team with really good hitters.”

Freshman Ali McCoy (5-2) tossed a three-hitter for Dutchtown.

The Griffins added two runs in the bottom of the fifth. Bria White had an RBI double for the 10th run and Cobb’s game winner came with no outs.

Dutchtown will face its second playoff foe with a seeding over 20.

“At this point in the game, we can’t look at the rankings,” Ensminger said. “It’s playoff time. Anybody can beat anybody at any time. I’m proud of them. We’re right where we want to be.”