ARNAUDVILLE — Thad Dickey expressed his pleasure in between the fourth and fifth innings.
As his team walked off the field after surrendering two runs in the top of the fourth, the longtime Beau Chene softball coach asked his Lady Gators to step it up. It was time, as he put it, “to put more crooked numbers” on the scoreboard.
No. 11 Beau Chene responded by scoring five runs in the bottom of the inning on its way to a 12-2 mercy-rule victory over No. 22 St. Scholastica. Beau Chene will face Bastrop in the second round of the Class 4A playoffs.
“Good job!,” Dickey shouted to his players after the fourth inning. “You answered the freakin’ call.”
Beau Chene (19-8) wasted little time establishing a lead.
Freshman Mia Dupis drew a one-out walk on five pitches and quickly scored on a stand-up triple by Payge Hebert. Next up was senior leftfielder Victoria Burns, who hit a single to score Hebert for another run. Lauren Manuel reached on single and Lindsey Charles drew a walk to load the bases, but Beau Chene was unable to bring another runner home.
Beau Chene added three runs in the bottom of the next inning.
“We had a scouting report that said (they) threw outside, but she came inside with her pitches,” said Burns, who went 3-for-4 with 3 RBIs and made two stellar defensive plays. “We had to adjust to that, but we like swinging at inside pitches.”
St. Scholastica (16-9) finally took advantage of some inconsistent pitching from Bryley Rodriguez in the fourth, but Beau Chene responded.
In the bottom of the fifth, Beau Chene clinched the victory as Hebert reached after being hit by a pitch. Burns drove Hebert home with a double and scored on a double by Manuel.
Hebert, Burns and Manuel combined to go 9-for-10 and drove in eight of the team’s runs.
“Those three girls at the plate tonight did everything we asked them to do,” Dickey said. “Typically this season, if we get the leadoff hitter on base, then we score, and that’s what we did.”
Despite putting the leadoff hitter on base all five innings, Rodriguez picked up the win after giving up two runs on seven hits with two strikeouts.
Beau Chene is aiming for a trip to the Fast Pitch 56, and for seniors Manuel and Burns, who remember being upset by St. Scholastica two years ago, there won’t be any looking past their second-round opponent.
“We are a better team now, and we are better prepared,” Manuel said. “We never underestimate anybody. Anybody can get upset. Just look at Crowley.”
“We have it in us to make it to Sulphur,” Burns said. “We just have to go out there and do it.”