Pineville High School coach Mark Mertens summed up the 13th-seeded Rebels performance against Mount Carmel very simply.
“It was just a complete team effort,” Mertens said. “Our pitcher was on, and on the other side of it, they have a pretty good pitcher, and we just hit her. There’s no magic formula. (Scoring five runs in) the fourth inning was huge because it gives you room for error, and we just kept adding on to it.”
The Rebels pounded out 14 hits en route to a 12-2 six-inning victory over No. 4 Mount Carmel during a Class 5A regional playoff game at the JPRD Softball Complex on Tuesday afternoon.
Pineville (20-8) will take on either No. 5 Live Oak or No. 12 Evangel in the Fast Pitch 56 State Tournament quarterfinals on Friday in Sulphur.
The Rebels scored a run with two outs in the first inning to take a 1-0 lead but did their real damage in the fourth scoring five runs on five hits — all singles — to take a commanding 6-0 lead.
The inning started with single to center by Hailee Wilkins, and the Rebels loaded the bases before Ty Robinson’s two-run single. Rebecca Martin followed with an RBI single, while Kacee Mertens lifted a sacrifice fly to center to make it 5-0.
Allie Williams’ RBI single to center rounded out the inning.
“I knew I had to get some runs in,” said Robinson, who finished 2-for-4. “It was really big, and I was excited to get a hit. We really want to go to Sulphur, so this is really big.”
The Rebels added six runs in the sixth as every Pineville starter recorded a hit and seven drove in a run during the game.
Starter Abby Robertson held the Cubs (21-4) in check allowing two runs on six hits in six innings with two strikeouts.
“After the first inning, it gave me a lot of confidence,” Robertson said. “I just wanted to do my best and work for my team. The fourth inning was a big relief for me to have such a big lead. This is just so exciting. I just have no words.”
The lost was tough for Mount Carmel and snapped a streak of three straight quarterfinals appearances for the undefeated District 9-5A champs.
“This is my first time not making it to Sulphur, and it’s just really hard,” Cubs senior Sam Dares said. “These girls have been my family for the past four years, and this is the worst feeling in the world. We wanted it so bad, but it just didn’t fall our way.”
The Cubs’ lone offensive output came in the sixth as Macy Hornosky and Caleigh Foto (2-for-3) opened with singles. Jordyn Perkins then laced a two-run, one-out double that the center fielder misjudged to cut the lead to 12-2.
Shelby Wickersham took the loss, going 3.1 innings and allowing six runs on six hits and two walks. Perkins allowed six runs on eight hits in 2.2 innings of relief.
Mount Carmel coach Jake Pierron, who coached his final game for the Cubs as he’s moving to Tennessee this offseason, said it just wasn’t his team’s day.
“We popped the ball up a lot, and we didn’t hit the ball like we normally do,” Pierron, a Chauvin native, said. “They were definitely the better team today. For whatever reason, we didn’t have it in us today, but they left everything on the field. We wanted it bad, but sometimes it just doesn’t happen. I just feel very lucky to have been here the past five years.”