Teurlings Catholic softball coach Lauren Delahoussaye was able to reflect fondly at the thought of playing in the All-Catholic softball tournament.
Delahoussaye, a former Teurlings and LSU infielder, is equally excited by the return of the event following a lengthy hiatus, with Teurlings and St. Thomas More co-sponsoring the All-Catholic tournament starting Friday at Pelican Park in Carencro.
“I’m very excited, it was a big tournament,” Delahoussaye said. “I don’t know exactly when it stopped. I remember playing in it, and it was a big deal then, and hopefully we can start it up again and let it grow.”
Eleven teams will take part in the two-day event, which features three guaranteed games for teams at Pelican Park, which boasts the same type of facility with multiple artificial turf infields as the state tournament in Sulphur.
“It’s been maybe 15 years since they last had it,” STM coach Andria Waguespack said. “It used to be huge. Mr. Boyer (Teurlings Principal Mike Boyer) wanted to bring it back, and I got with Lauren. It’s good to have it back, and to get this number of quality teams coming in the first year back is awesome.”
STM (11-6) and Teurlings (9-11) headline a list of teams from the Acadiana area, along with Catholic-New Iberia (13-7), Opelousas Catholic (11-2), Notre Dame (12-4), Vermilion Catholic (12-2) and Central Catholic of Morgan City (10-9).
Catholic-Pointe Coupee (9-8) represents the out-of-town entrants along with New Orleans-area powers Mount Carmel (14-2), Archbishop Chapelle (10-5) and Archbishop Hannan (11-6).
With her team involved in a chase for the District 4-4A championship with Teurlings, Waguespack said the tournament serves another purpose.
“These games are huge,” Waguespack said. “They put you to the test, and you need that being this close to the postseason. Anytime we get a chance to play a quality opponent, we want to do that and challenge ourselves to see exactly where we are.”
Action begins Friday at 4 p.m. with four games, including Class 1A Vermilion Catholic facing Class 2A Opelousas Catholic.
The Lady Eagles will also meet higher-classification teams Notre Dame and Hannan on Saturday at 12:30 p.m. and 3 p.m., respectively.
“We’re just excited because of the quality of teams,” VC co-coach Kim Guidry said. “We’re hoping to be competitive. It’s a win-win for us. All three of the teams we’re playing are in the top 10 in their division. We get to see where we measure up.”
VC, led by pitcher Hannah Abshire, opened the season with 10 straight wins and trails Hanson Memorial in the District 7-1A race by two games.
“We’re treating it kind of like a playoff situation,” Guidry said. “We would like to build off of that, so when the playoffs come we would have experienced that kind of competition.”