SULPHUR — Karli Perque dominated on the mound early.
Then in the fourth inning, her Cabrini teammates gave her plenty of help with their bats.
It all added up to No. 3 Cabrini needing just five innings to roll to an 11-1 victory over No. 6 Bastrop in the Class 4A quarterfinals at Frasch Park.
“It’s amazing,” said Perque. “I can’t find another word to describe it. To come back here and get to where we got last year is amazing. Now we want to go further and win a championship.”
Cabrini (26-6) advances to Saturday’s 1 p.m. semifinal to play No. 2 West Ouachita.
It’ll be the second straight season Cabrini reached the semifinals. They lost 1-0 to eventual state champion North DeSoto last season.
“Hopefully, it ends differently than it did last year,” Cabrini coach Shannon Austin said. “I think we are prepared. I think we have worked hard, and we’ll be ready.”
The Crescents had to wait an extra 90 minutes to get started Friday because the game being played before went into extra innings.
And perhaps that was just what Perque needed. She finished with 11 strikeouts, pushing her season total to 313. Her second strikeout of the game gave her 1,000 for her career.
“All of my pitches were working for me tonight,” Perque said. “I warmed up about four times, so I felt prepared.”
Shelby Brooks, the No. 9 hitter in the Crescents’ lineup, drove in Cabrini’s first run with a single in the second. The Crescents had a chance to do more damage, but left the bases loaded after the Lady Rams turned an inning-ending double play.
Perque (25-6), meanwhile, retired the first 11 batters she faced.
Bastrop’s Tia Coleman broke up the no-hitter in the fourth, stretching what looked to be a double into a triple. Chelsea Fagan then drove in Coleman with an RBI to center field to tie it 1-1.
It was the first run Cabrini has allowed in the playoffs after beating its first two playoff opponents (Minden and Grant) by a combined scored of 25-0.
But then came the Crescents’ big fourth inning.
They scored two runs on a pair of illegal pitches and two more on back-to-back RBI singles by Perque and Jessica Breitenbach. Kaylin Hillburn drove in two more runs with a single to center field.
“We’ve had those innings along the way,” said Austin, in her 10th season as head coach. “We’ll have that one inning when finally all the bats come together and click. Its good to see. Our 3 (Christie Runnels) and four-hole hitter (Katelyn Puinno) have done a good job of scoring runs for us and today the rest of them helped them out.”
Bastrop didn’t do much to help its cause. Starting pitcher Kenyshae Beasley lasted three innings before being replaced in the fourth.
“We had seven walks from my senior pitcher in less than four innings and you can’t afford that,” said Bastrop coach Jennifer Hickman.
Bastrop ended up using three pitchers in the game. The Lady Rams walked two more in the fifth and then hit the final batter of the game to end it.
Perque, Breitenbach and Hillburn had two hits each for the Crescents. Breitenbach had two RBIs.
But Austin knows she will need an even cleaner performance from her team on Saturday to bring her alma mater its first state championship in softball.
“I don’t think today was our cleanest outing and our bats weren’t really on today, but a win is a win at this point and I’ll take it,” Austin said. “Hopefully (Saturday) we can start piecing them together a little earlier.”