After three consecutive berths in the state championship game, the 2014 season was considered sub-par by Archbishop Hannan softball expectations when they only made the playoffs.
Thus far this season, the 2015 squad looks like they are back on track for another title run.
Ranked No. 1 in the latest LHSAA power rankings in Class 2A, Hannan easily dispatched district rival Northlake Christian,10-0 in a game called after five innings by the 10-run mercy rule.
Hannan (16-3, 2-0) pounded out 13 hits in the win over Northlake (6-8, 2-2) and was led by three-hit efforts by freshman Allie Hutton and Jensen Volz.
“Games like this are actually a little more pressure-packed because we are expected to win,” Hutton said. “Every district game is important because it helps us come playoff time. It was good to come out today and take care of business and move on to the next one.”
Wasting little time to take control of the game, the Hawks pushed across four unearned runs in the bottom of the first inning. With one out, Hutton and Volz had back-to-back singles. With two outs Kennedy Martin reached on an error and Hutton and Volz scored on a throwing error. Sydney Williams drove in Martin with a RBI single and Caitlin Collins had an RBI single to make it 4-0 Hawks.
Hannan added three more runs in the third inning on RBI singles by Martin and Shaye Tredinich.
Hutton, Volz and Martin added RBI singles in the fourth to finish out the scoring.
Northlake’s lone hits came in the second inning by Alexis Roy and Kera Grace Watts in the third inning.
Volz (8-2) picked up the complete-game shutout win, allowing two runs. She struck out seven and walked three. “It’s kind of like what Allie said,” Volz said. “When you are expected to win a district game against a team that is a lot of pressure. Northlake is a good team, and we are just happy to come away with a district win. You want to get as many district wins as possible because a district championship is really the only thing that guarantees you a playoff berth.”
A team with only three seniors and one junior, Hannan is off to a phenomenal start despite not having one of their best hitters in senior third baseman Bailey Tuminello. The Nicholls State signee had knee surgery in December to repair a torn ACL and hopes to be back in time for the postseason.
“I have to give credit to all my younger teammates,” she said. “They have done a tremendous job adjusting to the injuries and we have been hitting the ball extremely well. Hopefully we are hitting our stride right now and will be peaking come playoff time. I just hope to be able to be a part of it at some point on the field this season.”