BR starts state softball tournament strong

SULPHUR — It wasn’t a perfect day for Baton Rouge area teams, but with St. Amant, Live Oak, Brusly and Catholic-Pointe Coupee, all posting shutout wins, it was close.

The area’s four highest seeds all scored impressive shutout wins in the quarterfinals as the Louisiana High School Athletic Association’s Fast Pitch 56 State Softball Tournament began Friday at Frasch Park.

“You know, it all came together,” St. Amant coach Scott Nielson said. “I’ve said it time and time again, ‘you can’t lose if the other team doesn’t score.’ ”

Second-seeded St. Amant scored seven runs in the final two innings of a 10-0 win over Parkway in Class 5A. Fourth-seeded Live Oak advanced to the 5A semifinals for the first time with its 5-0 win over No. 5 Fontainebleau.

Brusly, the area’s lone No. 1 seed, notched a 9-0 win over No. 8 Crowley in Class 3A as Carli Jo LeBlanc tossed a one-hitter for BHS. Cathlolic-PC, a No. 3 seed in 1A, didn’t get a hit off Oak Grovc’s Jessica Travis. The Hornets used two errors to claim their 2-0 win.

A Cinderella story continued for No. 18 False River Academy. The New Roads-based Gators ousted No. 7 Ascension Catholic 12-5 to also advance in 1A.

All the Baton Rouge area winners advance to semifinals that begin at 11 a.m. Saturday. Finals start at 5 p.m. A record crowd of 9,709 attended Friday’s games.

Class 5A

ST. AMANT 10, PARKWAY 0: The Gators have outscored opponents 32-0 in three playoff games. Kasey Nielson (21-1) scattered four hits and struck out four for the Gators (27-2).

Brooke Roberts, Kara Gremillion, Madison Edmonston and Ali Delany all had two hits for SAHS, which pounded out 11 hits. Gremillion had a home run, a double and scored three runs. Roberts had two doubles and four RBIs. Delany added a double and two RBIs.

“A lot of it comes down to preparing for the game and then bringing it to the field and using it,” Kasey Nielson said. “And when it works, it works. They didn’t score.”

Brooke Roberts two-RBI double in the bottom of the first gave the Gators a 2-0 lead.

Parkway (21-9) made its first tourney appearance since 2006.

Gremillion led off the three-run fifth with a solo home run. Delany’s two-RBI double followed.

St. Amant batters got five straight hits in the bottom of the sixth to close the game. Roberts had another two-RBI double and pinch-hitter Kourtney Gremillion’s RBI hit ended the game.

LIVE OAK 5, FONTAINEBLEAU 0: Live Oak (25-5) broke the game open by scoring five runs in the bottom of the fifth inning.

“It was a big turning point for us, because we kind of felt like we were just teetering on the balance beam and not really in control yet,” Live Oak coach Michelle Morris said of the fifth-inning. “We got those runs, and it helped out our freshman pitcher. And it makes the whole team unify.”

Fontainebleau (25-5) stranded nine base runners. Savannah Hall scattered six hits for LOHS (25-5). The Eagles’ Meagan Louviere was 2-for-4 and also made a key catch in left field to help her team work out of the bases-loaded jam in the fourth.

Brittney Gunter and Payton Gremillion had RBI hits for LOHS in its sixth-inning surge.

SAM HOUSTON 7, DUTCHTOWN 1: No. 19 seed Sam Houston (19-9) broke the game open with five runs in the top of the third inning. Sixth-seeded Dutchtown did turn a triple play in the top of the seventh.

LSU signee Baylee Corbello gave up five hits and struck out nine to get the win. Taylor Edwards was 2-for-4 and had a solo home in the fifth for the winners. Alli Fields added a triple. Jessica Crum, who finished 2-for-3 with a double, was the DHS’ top hitter.

Class 3A

BRUSLY 9, CROWLEY 0: LeBlanc struck out seven for the Panthers (31-2), who have won 29 straight.

“We came in and scored a run in the first inning,” Brusly coach Beau Bouvier said. “Finally in the last inning, we broke through. We didn’t look good batting the first two innings, but we broke loose late in the game.”

Lanesha Taylor was 2-for-2 and Claire Daigle was 2-for-3 to pace BHS. LeBlanc also had a hit and two RBIs as six players contributed to the Panthers’ scoring. Bailee Villejon had the only hit for Crowley (24-7).

Carlie Comeaux’s RBI double that scored Akiya Thymes started Brusly’s four-run sixth inning. LeBlanc singled in Comeaux.

Class 1A

CATHOLIC-PC 2, OAK GROVE 0: The Hornets (22-6) scored both their runs in the bottom of the fourth. CHSPC’s Ryann Bizette allowed four hits.

“Our defense played solid and Ryann kept us in the game,” CHSPC coach Lauren Castle Doucet said. “She has a great demeanor on the mound.”

“I’d have liked a few more runs. It was a very tight game, but the small ball kept us in the game.”

Jordyn David walked to lead off the Catholic-Pointe Coupee fourth. Kayla Garrett reached on an error. Katelyn Bellelo sacrificed the runners to second and third.

Claire Roy bunted the ball to Travis, who tried to throw out David at home, but the throw was wide and both runners scored.

WESTMINSTER CHRISTIAN 9, ST. JOHN 3: Westminster, a 16th seed, scored six runs in the first four innings to take control. WCA had 12 hits.

Gabrielle Lewis was 3-for-5 to pace the Crusaders. Gabrielle Karam was 2-for-4, while Tammy Leger added two RBIs.

St. John (22-11), a No. 8 seed, was plagued by five errors and lost in the quarterfinals for the second straight season. The Eagles’ Jessie Brown was 2-for-2 with an RBI and a run.

FALSE RIVER: 12, ASCENSION CATHOLIC 5: FRA (14-16) has scored double-digit runs in all three of its playoff wins over higher seeded teams.

Ashley Vosburg was 4-for-5, including a three-run triple, a double and three runs. Vosburg’s three-RBI triple came in the seventh. The Gators had seven extra base hits.

Kristyn Fairchild was 3-for-5 with two RBIs, while Savannah LeJeune (two hits, two RBIs) and Kendall LeBlanc (two hits, three runs) also contributed to a 13-hit attack.

Ascension Catholic (22-7) scored all of its run in the seventh. Baily Amedee was 2-for-3 for the Bulldogs.