The second-seeded Teurlings Catholic softball team only needed five innings to seal a convincing victory as it defeated No. 31 Pearl River 12-1 in the first round of the Class 4A state playoffs.
Teurlings Catholic dominated on offense and defense, allowing only three base runners and all nine of its batters reached base, eight of them tallying hits and seven of them scored at least one run.
“It’s a win, and you always like to have a win,” Teurlings Catholic coach Lauren Delahoussaye said. “We came out a little flat, but once we started hitting, we woke up and it was a fun game.”
The home team accumulated 11 hits in its four innings and took advantage of a number of fielding errors by Pearl River to expand its lead.
Despite a slow start on offense, Teurlings Catholic scored in all four innings. It only scored one run in the first inning but proceeded to get nine runs in the next two before nine-hole hitter and sophomore center fielder Averi Lucie capped of the team’s scoring in the fourth with a two-run homer.
Teurlings Catholic senior pitcher Summer Ellyson controlled the circle, striking out eight and allowing only two hits and a walk.
“We let our defense do what it can do,” Delahoussaye said. “I like our pitchers to let them put the ball in play. That’s the best way our defense plays. You can’t win every game with 21 strikeouts.”
Pearl River’s two hits came in the fourth inning via a fast grounder down the third-base line for a double and a blooper that sophomore second baseman Madison Judice couldn’t quite get to that led to Pearl River’s only run.
Despite the one-sided victory, Delahoussaye said she wants her squad to have a short memory, especially in the playoffs.
“I try to tell them all the time that the other team is always better,” Delahoussaye said. “We just have to put it in our heads that we’re coming out to play the best team in Class 4A every single game.”
As for whether or not she believes her team has what it takes to win its next for games and take home the Class 4A state title, she’d rather not jinx it.
“I don’t even want to say,” Delahoussaye said. “We work hard, we play well and I’m just happy every time we show up to play the best we can. That’s what I’m hoping for in the rest of the postseason.”
Teurlings Catholic will host No. 15 Belle Chasse on Saturday in the regional round of the playoffs.