Teurlings softball team tries to keep offensive momentum going _lowres

Advocate staff photo by BRAD BOWIE -- Teurlings first baseman Katie Granger makes the play at first ahead of Notre Dame's Abbey Higginbotham on March 23. Teurlings travels to Acaddemy of Our Lady for a Class 4A regional playoff game Friday in Harvey.

Teurlings Catholic softball coach Lauren Delahoussaye said her team was just starting to settle into Monday’s Class 4A first-round playoff game at Tioga.

Kenzie Dupont had doubled in a pair of runs to tie the game at 2-2 in the top of the fourth inning when heavy rains eventually suspended play.

Teurlings was forced to make the near two-hour trip back to Lafayette and returned to Tioga on Tuesday afternoon, when Mackenzie David unloaded a grand slam, and Sydney Manuel added a two-run double in the fifth.

Teurlings’ offensive explosion helped to offset a late run by Tioga, sending the No. 26 Rebels to an 8-6 upset of the No. 7 Indians and to the regional round.

Teurlings (12-16) travels to meet No. 10 Academy of Our Lady (20-8) at 6 p.m. Friday at Harvey Playground.

“When we stopped (playing) Monday, we talked how we were just gaining momentum, getting ourselves into a good situation in the game,” Delahoussaye said. “We didn’t want to go back (from Lafayette) already beat. McKenzie’s grand slam was reassuring that we weren’t ready to end our season.”

Teurlings endured a bumpy start to the season with five losses in its first six games, falling to Class 5A powerhouses Sam Houston and St. Amant along the way.

The Rebels starting a turnaround March 15 with a 3-2 victory over archrival St. Thomas More to gain the early edge in the District 4-4A race.

Teurlings won its next seven district games, setting up a showdown in the second round which STM won 2-1, sending the Rebels on a tailspin with four losses in their last six games.

“We dug ourselves out the worst hole possible, and we’ve fought like crazy to get out of it,” Delahoussaye said. “We’ve been through every situation possible, and I feel like everything’s made us stronger and our girls realize that.”

LADY BOBCATS ENJOY HISTORIC WIN: A year ago Erath won six games and missed the Class 3A state playoffs for the seventh time in the past nine years.

The No. 22 Bobcats continued to show marked improvement this year under second-year coach Eric LeBlanc, reaching the 14-win mark and registering their first playoff win in a decade with Tuesday’s 11-8 upset over No. 11 Westlake.

“It was great to see where we came from,” LeBlanc said. “We didn’t have any seniors that finished with us last season. “This year we’ve got five. I can’t explain how big of an improvement we’ve seen on this team.”

Erath (14-15) earned a state regional date with No. 6 Brusly at 5 p.m. Friday.

LeBlanc credited the difficulty of Erath’s District 8-3A competition for helping prepare the Bobcats, who lost six games against North Vermilion, Kaplan and E.D. White — all of whom advanced to the regional round.

The Bobcats have also been big proponents of offensive softball, piling up double-digit runs for the 10th time in their playoff victory over Westlake.

Haley Campbell, the team’s leading hitter at .517, powered Erath’s 18-hit playoff attack with a 3-for-4 effort that included a home run, triple and double and five RBIs. Kylia Benoit, Emily Harrington, Emily Miller and Ann Marie Frederick all had two hits for the Bobcats.

“We don’t have that dominant (pitcher), but we have one (Maci Viator) that will throw strikes,” LeBlanc said. “Offense is something we had to build our team around.

“They’re long games with a lot of runs. We’ve been doing it all season and we hope to continue down that road.”

Softball

Friday’s playoff schedule

Class 4A

Belle Chasse at St. Thomas More, 5 p.m.

Beau Chene at Bastrop, 5:30 p.m.

Teurlings at Academy of Our Lady, 5 p.m.

Class 3A

Lutcher at North Vermilion, 4:30 p.m.

Erath at Brusly, 5 p.m.

Class 2A

Sacred Heart-VP at Notre Dame, 4:30 p.m.

Class 1A

Central Catholic-MC at LaSalle, 5 p.m.

Centerville at Ascension Catholic, 5 p.m.