Dutchtown softball pitchers pace victory

GRAY — Aleah Craighton and Ali McCoy combined on a three-hitter, leading Dutchtown High to a 5-1 victory over H.L. Bourgeois in Class 5A regional softball action Saturday at HLB.

Craighton picked up the win for the sixth-seeded Griffins. She pitched four and 2/3 innings and gave up a run on a hit with two walks and a strikeout before McCoy came on in relief.

Jessica Crum finished 2-for-4 with two doubles and an RBI, while Hope Vezinat was 2-for-4 with two RBIs for sixth-seeded Dutchtown (21-7), which advances to next week’s Louisiana High School Athletic Association State Softball Tournament in Sulphur.

The Griffins play defending 5A champion Sam Houston in a quarterfinal game set for 6 p.m. Friday

Brooke Overley took the loss for No. 22 seed H.L. Bourgeois (19-11). She gave up five runs on nine hits with no walks and a strikeout in seven inning.

Dutchtown scored runs in the second, third, and fifth innings

“I think the key to this game was our defense playing well,” Dutchtown coach Nancy Ensminger said. “They (the Braves) did an outstanding job of making some big plays in the infield. We capitalized on our opportunities and the mistakes they made.

“They didn’t make some of the plays they were supposed to make. We put the ball in play to get runners on and did a good job of hitting with runners in scoring position.

“I thought their pitcher (Brooke Overley) handled us really well. We usually have games that are much longer, and we put a lot more runs on the board. So I give credit her there.”

Dutchtown struck first in the top of the second inning. Crum led off the inning with a high pop fly to center field that
got caught in the swirling wind and fell to the ground for a double.

Royelle Cobb singled over the shortstop’s head with two outs to score Crum.

In the third, Dutchtown’s Craighton helped her cause with a triple to the right-field wall that scored Vezinat to make the score 2-0. Crum then hit a double that dropped fair inside the right-field line to score Craighton for a 3-0 advantage.

The Lady Griffins extended their lead to 5-0 in the fifth inning.

After a lead-off single by Bailey Gilleon and a double from Tia Patterson, Vezinat knocked in Gilleon and Patterson on a hard single up the middle.

Despite having runners in scoring position in the previous inning, HLB got its first hit of the game with a lead-off single by Overley in the bottom of the fifth.

Later in the fifth, Brenna Copes doubled to right field to score courtesy runner
Taylor Coulo, making it a 5-1 game.

“We just couldn’t put the ball in play at the right time,” H.L. Bourgeois coach Jeri Overley said. “I think if we would’ve, then it could’ve been like a 5-4 ballgame or something close like that. We gave them a good run, and I think we made them nervous at points.

“We had mishaps on defense, like dropping some fly balls we should’ve had, that we hadn’t had in quite a while. But it is the defense that did get us here and has been stellar all season.”