PINEVILLE — Once she took over in the circle, Teurlings Catholic’s Summer Ellyson was locked in.
The Louisiana-Lafayette-bound Ellyson focused on doing her job. Ultimately, she took the loss as the East beat the West 3-1 in Saturday’s Louisiana High School Coaches Association All-Star softball game.
Ellyson’s determination netted her Outstanding Player honors for the West as the LHSCA concluded its weekend with a single game at Louisiana College’s Coca-Cola Field.
“Sometimes the chips don’t fall your way, but you have to keep your composure,” Ellyson said. “I’d always rather have a win, but it was one of those things. I’m kind of surprised by it (award). I didn’t even know they did an MVP.
“I just went out and tried to do my job. Everybody did. Today we didn’t win.”
With the Saturday win, the East swept the two-game series that began with a 4-2 victory on Friday night. It marked the first sweep since 2009 when the West won both games.
Ellyson was 1-for-2 at the plate, smashing a line drive double off the wall in center field to lead off the fifth and allowed just three hits. It proved to be a microcosm of the game. Winning pitcher Kayla Busby Busby of Menard retired the next three hitters for the East to snuff out the threat.
Two players for the East had multiple hits. LSU signee Elyse Thornhill of St. Joseph’s Academy finished 3-for-4 with an RBI and was voted the Outstanding Player for the East. Harli Crow of Denham Springs was 2-for-3 with a double.
Thornhill hit a long home run in Friday’s win. She had an RBI hit in the pivotal bottom half of the fifth.
Each team scored a run in the third. Houston signee Elise LeBouef of Notre Dame doubled and eventually scored on a wild pitch for the West. Tioga’s Taylor Pippen walked and East courtesy runner Bobbi Smith of West Ouachita scored the tying run on a passed ball.
St. Amant’s Kara Gremillion led off the bottom of the fifth with a walk for the East and slide around a tag at the plate to score on a ground out by Mount Carmel’s Alaina Guarino after Smith had reached on an error. Both Gremillion and Guarino also are set to be Cajuns, providing just a touch of irony. But the play by Gremillion gave the East the lead for good. A single by Thornhill gave the East all the insurance it would need.”
“When you change pitchers like we do in the all-star game it’s hard to get in a groove offensively,” East head coach Tim Whitman of Ouachita Parish High said. “But I thought we had some timely hits. We had some two-out hits.
“We didn’t have as many baserunners as yesterday, but we got the hits with two outs. And it was good to see people on base when Elyse came up. She was hot all weekend.”
West coach Andria Waguespack of St. Thomas More playfully teased Ellyson after the game. Like Ellyson, she wasn’t disappointed.
“In a game like this runs are going to be hard to come by,” Waguespack said. “That’s just how it is. We were never able to get in a groove. But I love the competitive spirit. They had fun, but between the lines it was about business.”