SULPHUR — Opelousas Catholic hung tough with the top team in Class 2A.
No. 25 OCHS recovered from giving up three runs in the first inning and headed to the bottom of the fourth tied with No. 1 Calvary Baptist in Friday’s Class 2A quarterfinal game at the Fast Pitch 56 state softball tournament at Frasch Park.
The veteran Cavaliers, though, proved to be too tough for the young Vikings as the top seed pulled away for a 7-4 victory.
“The girls never quit,” OCHS coach Jay Artall said. “Calvary was everything we thought they were. They were the better team (Friday), but we still battled back, and we tied them. The girls didn’t give up.”
OCHS (14-16) fell behind early as Calvary Baptist started the game with four straight hits and scored three runs in opening inning.
“They were hitting us pretty good there in the first,” Artall said. “To me that was the difference more than later on in the game.”
OCHS chipped away at the lead by scoring two runs in the top of the third. Anna Lafleur led off with a double Madison Nicholas then walked. After a double steal, Tori Collins brought home Lafleur with a single and Nicholas scored on a sacrifice fly by Emily Ortego.
OCHS tied the game in the top of the fourth, but Calvary broke it open in the bottom of the inning by scoring three runs. The Cavaliers added a run in the sixth inning. Collins earned the loss after giving up seven runs on 11 hits.
OCHS was making its first appearance in Sulphur since 2012, when the team advanced to the Class 1A semifinals. The Vikings, the second lowest seed in the tournament regardless of class, reached Sulphur by upsetting No. 8 Pope John Paul II and No. 9 Springfield in the first two rounds.
With no juniors or seniors on the roster, Artall will be bringing back everyone from this year’s team for the next two seasons. That could mean this year’s trip to Sulphur is just the beginning for the Vikings.
“Were not going to have senior day for two more years,” Artall said. “I feel like I am in a great position right now for what we have for the future. Everything looks positive.”