The Spartans and Griffins baseball teams are holding on to their playoff dreams in 2015. East Ascension added a notch in its belt by besting the Griffins 4-3 at Johnny Ambeau Park on Saturday afternoon.

Dutchtown started off the scoring in the first inning as the Spartans gave up a walk, then committed two throwing errors that allowed a run to score from first base. The Griffins added another run in the third, then in the top of the fourth inning, the Griffins added a run to extend their lead to 3-0.

The Spartans (14-12, 5-0) scored all of their runs in the fourth and fifth innings to overcome the three-run deficit and take the game from Dutchtown (11-16, 2-3) and stay undefeated in district play.

After scoring two runs in the fourth inning, Ben Thompson led off the fifth with a walk and Kade Waguespack laid down a perfect bunt for a single. Hunter Sanford attempted a pick-off at second, but a bad throw advanced both runners. Charles Stevens drove a single to left, scoring Thompson, then a passed ball by catcher Brandt Fritsche allowed Waguespack to score the winning run from third base.

Lady Gators shut out Lady Spartans, clinch district softball title

The Lady Gators not only held on to their undefeated record in style but they clinched the 5-5A district title with a 7-0 win against the East Ascension Lady Spartans (20-7, 7-2) in an April 9 softball game. Great pitching, very stingy defense and timely hitting carried the day for St. Amant (24-0, 9-0).

Senior Gabby Sharp threw a sharp (pun intended) seven innings, allowing seven hits and pretty much keeping the Spartans’ bats in check. East Ascension had scoring opportunities in the fourth, fifth and seventh innings, but Sharp’s pitching coupled with a hot defense left the Lady Spartans scoreless.

Sharp, one of the two seniors, is 20-0 on the season and gave her defense all the credit. The other senior, Kara Gremillion, a signee with University of Louisiana at Lafayette, holds down the middle of the infield in her shortstop position and leads the offense with her bat. Kara went 2-for-3 on the night with a two-run double and a solo homer.

The Lady Gators’ remaining district game was Tuesday against Dutchtown, and they played a nondistrict game Wednesday against Parkview Baptist in their quest to finish the regular season undefeated.

Colorado Springs visit includes trip to Garden of the Gods

Every now and then, I get the opportunity to travel to a new spot and sample the outdoors from a different perspective. Last week, my wife and I traveled to Colorado to visit our daughter’s family in Colorado Springs.

Hunting season is over and I didn’t bring any fishing equipment, but our outdoor experience was totally different from south Louisiana. This part of Colorado is about 80 miles south of Denver, so we were in the midst of the Rocky Mountain range. I could actually see Pike’s Peak from our bedroom in our daughter’s house.

Our first excursion was to the Garden of the Gods, a unique set of rock formations just outside of Colorado Springs. We drove to the entrance and set out on a hike on a paved path that brought you through the formations. It’s mostly red rock that’s been carved out over the years. Two of the most popular formations are the Kissing Camels and the Balancing Rock.

Our second outing was to Breckenridge, where a lot of our national and world skiing competitions take place, including Olympic qualifiers. Colorado Springs is home of the U.S. Olympic Committee and it’s also where much of the Olympic training takes place.

Spring is making its mark at this time, but there’s still enough snow to ski there. The trip is a little over 90 miles and took us through five or six different mountain ranges. Each one is different in terrain, formation types and, of course, height. We made our first snow tubing runs down the slopes and watched lots of skiers and snowboarders come down the slopes, as well.

Out final big outing was to attempt a drive to the top of Pike’s Peak. The road up to the summit had been closed for the winter but it opened the day before we went. It was still open when we got on the road in the park, but they closed it at about 13,000 feet because of 60 mph winds. We were forced to turn around.

We got about as close as we could. The drive wasn’t too hazardous and the scenery was awesome. We even got a chance to watch some extreme skiers make their way down a slope that was off the beaten path. It was awesome.

Hunting and fishing is very big there. While hunting season is closed, wildlife that is hunted is abundant. There wasn’t a day that went by without us seeing mule deer just about everywhere, even in subdivisions. A herd of elk crossed the highway in front of us on our way to Breckenridge, and we saw herd after herd of pronghorn antelope.

The snowmelt is underway so the fishing is just beginning in the streams. We saw lots of anglers fly fishing in just about every stream we passed. The reservoir-fishing season will begin on May 1.

The terrain, the type of waterways and the species of fish available are different but the folks are the same. They love and take part in outdoor activities just like we do here.

Lyle Johnson covers sports for The Ascension Advocate. He can be contacted at reelman@eatel.net or ascension@theadvocate.com.