A year removed from snapping a 19-year postseason drought, Acadiana earned a berth in the Class 5A softball playoffs for the second straight season Thursday afternoon.
No. 28 Acadiana (14-13) will play at No. 5 Live Oak at 6 p.m. Tuesday.
“We are very pleased that we are back in the playoffs,” Acadiana coach Kevin Smith said. “We had some real close games this season. A lot of one-run games that went both ways for us.”
Acadiana had eight games this season decided by one run, and that includes a 7-6 loss to Live Oak.
“They are a talented ballclub,” Smith said. “We have to make sure to minimize our mistakes and put the ball in play.”
Smith said the key to defeating Live Oak, which also beat Acadiana 9-1 a few weeks ago, is to cut down on errors and not allow them to get off to a hot start.
“The last two times we played them we let them jump out to an early lead,” Smith said. “We didn’t find our bats until it was too late. In that first game, we gave up a grand slam in the first inning. After that inning we started to minimize the mistakes, but it was too late.”
Smith has yet to decide if he is going to have his left-handed junior Dorrie Cormier or his right-handed sophomore Sydni Larriviere in the circle. Regardless of who he decides will get the ball, Smith said he feels good about the competitive nature of his young team.
“One thing about this bunch is that they are finding ways to stay in the game,” Smith said. “That is what you want at this time of the year.”
Also earning a spot in the Class 5A bracket was No. 30 Comeaux, which will take on No. 3 Ouachita Parish.
In Class 4A, Beau Chene coach Thad Dickey was pleased with his team’s seeding.
No. 11 Beau Chene (18-8) hosts No. 22 St. Scholastica at 5:30 p.m. Monday.
“A few weeks ago, I was hoping that we would be in the top 10,” Dickey said. “All eight of our losses are to teams in the playoffs, but we let a few games get away from us and that dropped us. So I will take the 11 seed and be happy with it.”
Beau Chene will be facing a familiar foe as St. Scholastica upset the Gators 13-7 at home in the first round of the 2014 playoffs. Even though both teams are different now, Dickey knows his team will have to be focused Monday.
Bryley Rodriguez (17-8) will be in the circle for the Gators.
“They are a solid program,” Dickey said. “I think we are so much better than what we were two years ago, but it is going to come down to executing. I am always looking for that extra advantage.”
Also earning spots in the Class 4A bracket were: No. 32 Rayne taking on No. 1 North DeSoto, No. 8 St. Thomas More hosting No. 25 South Terrebonne, No. 28 St. Martinville at No. 5 Neville, No. 12 Crowley hosting No. 21 Benton, No. 19 Cecilia playing at No. 14 Grant and No. 26 Teurlings Catholic at No. 7 Tioga.
In Class 3A, Kaplan will be looking to lay the groundwork for a return trip to the Fast Pitch 56 in Sulphur.
No. 4 Kaplan (20-6) hosts No. 29 Loyola College Prep at 5:30 p.m. Monday.
“Anytime you get a top four seed you should be pleased,” Kaplan coach Shay Herpin said. “I feel like we have a lot of work still to do to get that top spot one day.”
Kaplan ended last season as state runner-up, losing 4-3 to John Curtis. Despite returning only three players that took part in that deep playoff run, the Pirates still won 20 games and earn a high seed.
“It is a different team, but these girls were in the dugout for that run last year, so hopefully it won’t be as much as shock to them,” Herpin said.
It helps that one of those players is ace Abby Trahan. The Pirates senior is 19-5 and will be in the circle Monday.
“She has been a four-year starter for us, and she is going to be our go-to player,” Herpin said.
Also earning spots in the Class 3A bracket were: No. 8 Pine Prairie hosting No. 25 Berwick, No. 28 Church Point at No. 5 Winnfield, No. 12 Iota hosting No. 21 Port Allen, No. 22 Erath at No. 11 Westlake and No. 2 North Vermilion hosting No. 31 Avoyelles.
In Class 2A area teams earning berths were: No. 20 Sacred Heart at No. 13 Opelousas Catholic, No. 4 Notre Dame hosting No. 29 Oakdale and No. 19 Catholic-New Iberia at No. 14 Rapides.
In Class 1A area postseason teams include: No. 28 Westminster Christian Academy at No. 5 LaSalle, No. 19 Lafayette Christian at No. 14 St. Edmund, No. 26 Highland Baptist at No. 7 Vermilion Catholic. In Class C, No. 7 Northside Christian hosts No. 10 Dodson.