Hahnville beats Destrehan, returns to state softball tournament

BOUTTE — They couldn’t have asked for better weather, a better turnout or a better atmosphere.

Destrehan could have asked for a few more runs. But Hahnville needed only what it got to take a 3-0 win over its archrival in Saturday’s Class 5A high school softball regional playoff and earn its fifth consecutive trip to the state tournament in Sulphur.

The top-seeded Tigers (21-8-3) will face No. 9 Mount Carmel, a 3-1 winner over Sulphur, in the quarterfinal round of the playoffs at Frasch Park next week. Destrehan finished 19-13.

Hahnville got one run in the first inning, thanks to a fielder’s choice by Lauren Simar and a double by Maeson Martindale. The Tigers added two runs in the fourth when Bryce Button doubled. Pepper Baker then put down a sacrifice bunt and Kelly Oretego sent a single to left.

Hahnville got eight hits off Destrehan pitcher Ashley Blin, but left 10 runners stranded.

Tigers pitcher Lauren Beadle, who has pitched every game for her team this season, allowed four hits and two walks. Beadle struck out four. Nicole Haydel and Abbie Hall each hit a pair of singles, but the Wildcats could not capitalize.

“I felt relaxed,” Beadle said. “I knew my defense would be there behind me.”

Now Beadle gets to go to Sulphur and try to help her team reclaim the Class 5A title it won in 2011. Last year, she was the backup pitcher and did not play.

“I mostly was there to cheer my teammates on,” she said. “I’m excited to get to go and perform.”

Hahnville coach Kenny Vial said last year’s 2-1 loss in the championship game to Sam Houston in the ninth inning was devastating.

“It was for me,” Vial said. “For the longest time, Sulphur was the goal. Then we got to Sulphur and kept losing, so winning was the goal. Now we’ve won it, and that’s the ultimate goal.”

Postponed a day by Friday’s nasty weather, fans from both sides of St. Charles Parish turned out in droves for Saturday’s game, the third between the parish rivals this season. And they got exactly what they expected — a close, hard-fought game between an established program and an up-and-coming one.

Hahnville has been to the state tournament six times in 11 seasons. Destrehan has never made the state tournament, but has improved dramatically in recent years under third-year coach Kenny Montz.

“It would have been great to play this game in Sulphur,” Montz said. “But I guess playing them to get to Sulphur was the next best thing.”