The St. Amant Lady Gators went undefeated March 27-28 in the annual North vs. South softball tournament in Zachary.
The St. Amant tournament usually includes Dutchtown and East Ascension, with games rotating between the three Ascension Parish schools, but this year, those teams opted not to play in the tournament held at Zachary Youth Park, according to St. Amant coach Scott Nielson.
The Lady Gators played a shutout game Friday against West Monroe, winning 15-0, and on Saturday, the girls defeated West Ouachita 11-1 early followed by an afternoon victory over Ruston 11-1.
Teams representing the south were St. Amant, St. Thomas More, Mount Carmel Academy, North Vermilion, Walker and Zachary High.
From the north, high school teams included C.E. Byrd, Haughton, Ruston, West Ouachita and West Monroe.
The Lady Gators are undefeated in regular and district play at 16-0 despite having a tough schedule and losing 10 seniors from last season’s roster. Of those 10 seniors, seven signed college scholarships, Nielson said.
“We have a very young team this year, so I was not expecting to do this well,” said Nielson, who is in his 13th year as St. Amant’s softball coach.
“These girls are hitting well and playing well. They’re playing with a maturity beyond their years.”
Starting seniors Gabby Sharp, who had a 9-0 season as a junior, is already at 13-0, and three-sport Lady Gator Kara Gremillion, The Advocate’s Player of the Year in 2014, signed with the University of Louisiana at Lafayette in November to play softball at the collegiate level.
Nielson’s coaching earned St. Amant’s softball program five consecutive state 5A titles from 2002 to 2006.
Nielson thanked Zachary for allowing the North vs. South tournament to be played at the turfed quad at Zachary Youth Park.
“With everyone playing in one place rather than at three different schools, it was nice for the teams to be able to watch each other play,” Nielson said.
The Lady Gators are set to play Woodlawn High for Senior Day. The game begins at 5 p.m. Tuesday at Lady Gator Park.