It isn’t always about how you start, it’s about how you finish.
Just ask the Catholic High of Pointe Coupee softball team and Ascension Catholic softball pitcher Julia Beck.
CHSPC started the season with seven new starters and entered the playoffs with a 12-11 record. The Hornets outscored their playoff opponents 36-7 en route to a Class 1A state title.
Beck and ACHS lost 7-4 to Catholic-PC in the semifinals. That loss didn’t keep the senior from being voted the Outstanding Player in the Class 1A all-state team selected by the Louisiana Sports Writers Association.
CHSPC coach Lauren Doucet was voted the Coach of the Year for the 1A squad selected by a panel of sportswriters from across the state. Shortstop Samuel Guarisco and coach Tyler Jensen of Central Catholic-Morgan City led the 1A baseball squad.
“It’s a great honor to win a award like this,” Beck said. “I’ve known some of the past winners and the work they put in.
“All the years of work really paid off. But I know none of this would have been possible without my teammates or my coaches. It’s a great way to end my (high school) career. The things I will remember most are my teammates and things we did together.”
Beck finished 20-4 in the circle with 220 strikeouts and a 2.20 earned run average. She also batted .493 with 20 RBIs for the Bulldogs. Beck had 1,007 strikeouts during her four seasons.
Guarisco batted .403 with 10 doubles and 31 RBIs for the CCMC baseball team and also was voted the MVP of the title game. Jensen coached the Eagles to a 28-4 record and the school’s first state title in baseball since 2005.
When most softball teams were playing preseason jamborees, Catholic-PC was nowhere near a field. Doucet and her assistant coaches took the Hornets on a camping trip. Team-building exercises from that weekend fostered the chemistry that was crucial as CHSPC won its first state title since 2013.
“We had a lot of new starters,” Doucet said. “Some of them were players who waited to get their chance to start and others were younger players. We had to bring them together.
“It was definitely a bumpy road along the way, but (the CHSPC players) believed in what we were doing. This was by no means a one-person job. I’ve got great assistant coaches, the players and coaches who share a part of this.”
Three other players with local ties made the LSWA’s 1A softball team. Three local players made the 1A baseball squad.
Pitcher Ryann Bizette (17-11, 1.69 ERA, 154 strikeouts) and utility selection Katelyn Bellelo (.450, six home runs, 29 RBIs) were the Catholic-PC players on the softball team. Ascension Catholic outfielder Rae’Shaun Malancon (.507, nine home runs, 32 RBIs) joins Beck.
Infielder Nick Bellina (.455, two home runs, five triples, 30 RBIs) and utility player Landon Clifton (7-2, three saves, .405 batting average) made the baseball squad that also includes Catholic-PC’s Logan Maggio (.375, 24 RBIs) as another utility choice. Both ACHS and CHSPC advanced to the quarterfinals.