BRUSLY — Brusly sophomore pitcher Mary Cathryn Comeaux is well acquainted with the program’s rich history in reaching the state softball tournament.
Not only did Comeaux make her debut in Sulphur a year ago, she had two older sisters, Carlie and Camryn, who also won a state championship.
Comeaux played a pivotal role in helping No. 1 Brusly return for a seventh consecutive year Thursday, throwing a no-hitter to go along with a homer and two RBIs in a 11-1 mercy-rule Class 3A state regional victory in five innings over No. 17 Kaplan.
“I’ve been going (to Sulphur) since I was little,” Comeaux said. “It’s fun.”
Brusly (29-4) opens state tournament action at 5 p.m. next Thursday against the winner of Friday’s St. James-Westlake regional.
“It never gets old,” Brusly coach Beau Bouvier said. “It’s something they look forward to.”
Brusly pounded out 17 hits — including six for extra bases with Karli David (3 for 4, 3 RBIs) and Comeaux hitting solo homers — and every starter collected at least one hit.
First baseman Gabi Mancuso and shortstop Ariana Cipriano led the way with three hits apiece, and Mancuso also drove in a pair of runs.
Brusly led 2-0 on David’s two-out blast in the first — her fourth of the year — and Baylee Weems, who led off the second with a double, scoring on a wild pitch.
Kaplan (13-17), the reigning Class 3A state champion, closed to within 2-1 in the third. Kenzie Gaspard, who walked and was sacrificed to second, beat Comeaux’s throw to the plate on a fielder’s choice.
“I walked (three) a couple of people and wasn’t really doing my best,” Comeaux, who improved to 18-2 and registered her first complete-game no-hitter of the season. “I’ve been struggling a bit. It’s OK, we won.”
Brusly responded with Angel Bradford hustling into second after a leadoff bunt in the fourth that served as the catalyst in her team’s uprising over the final two innings.
The Lady Panthers went on to score nine runs on 11 hits during that span. Comeaux drove in runs in the fourth on a double and fifth with a solo homer — her sixth of the season.
After two quick outs in the fifth, the Lady Panthers scored four times to invoke the mercy rule with Comeaux’s homer serving as the spark. David contributed a run-scoring single and Mancuso a two-run double.
“We said going in they were the team to beat,” Bouvier said. “We may be the No. 1 seed, but they were the team to beat, and our girls were ready.”