WATSON — There were some residual effects from Live Oak’s stinging 5-4 loss to Zachary 24 hours earlier. Just about all of them were negatives for Denham Springs. This time the Yellow Jackets got stung.
Live Oak set the tone with a five-run first inning and collected 14 hits en route to a 13-3, five-inning victory over Denham Springs on Thursday at Live Oak Sports Park.
With the victory, Live Oak (21-3, 8-1) clinched the District 4-5A title with one league game remaining. Denham Springs is 20-8, 7-3.
“We talked after the game (Wednesday) and we agreed … we had to get this one,” pitcher Amanda Holliday said. “We had to get this one and get the district title.”
A few hours of introspection served the LOHS team well. Having Holliday in the circle and at the plate was just as crucial. She scattered six hits and struck out five and also was 3-for-3 at the plate with three RBIs.
Ally Howard and Gisselle Ash were 3-for-4, while Savannah Hall was 2-for-4 with 3 RBIs. Sarah Cambre was 2-for-2 with a run scored, while Brittany Case finished 2-for-3 with a run scored for DSHS.
Holliday worked through a shaky first inning. Denham Springs loaded the bases thanks in part to infield hits by Case and Harli Crowe. Holliday struck out two and induced a fly out after the Yellow Jackets had scored on a passed ball. She used both a drop ball and a screwball placed on the outer part of the plate to keep DSHS off balance.
The LOHS pitcher and her teammates had no issues on offense. The Eagles quickly turned four hits into five runs, prompting a DSHS pitching change, in the bottom of the first.
“We fell very flat (Wednesday),” Live Oak coach Michelle Morris said. “And we knew it. It was spring break, we had a big game Tuesday and that (Zachary) was the continuation of game we’d already started.
“There are no excuses. I told them it was learning experience and that you can’t look at another team and how you are. I told them you have to look at how you did. The bats we brought today … we need to bring them the rest of the year.”
Howard had an RBI hit and Hall drove in two runs with a hit in the first inning. The Eagles continued to add to their lead. Doubles by Holliday, Kaitlyn McLin and Lauren Brown scored two runs in the third. Holliday knocked in two runs in the fourth.
Howard and Hall had RBI hits in the fifth. It was Hall’s RBI hit up the middle that brought Virginia Cacioppo in to score the final run.
“When you play a great team like Live Oak, you’ve got to put forth effort,” DSHS coach David Bourque said. “We did threaten, and we had a runner here or there. We’re talented enough to do that.
“But when we show up with no effort and get out-competed in the game, that’s what’s going to happen to us. We’ve got to learn to compete with every pitch.”