Cynics who don’t follow girls sports may question the validity of a high school softball rivalry.
Yes, it’s really a thing that Brusly and Parkview Baptist are prepared to demonstrate. The two District 6-3A rivals meet at 5 p.m. Thursday at PBS to close the first round of district play.
“Brusly is a rival for us,” PBS coach Ashlee Weems said. “This one comes at the end of the first round of district, and it’s at our place, which makes it bigger.
“I know the girls tend to put a little more pressure on themselves because this is Brusly. It’s a big game for both teams.”
PBS and Brusly have long been part of the Class 3A softball elite and neither minds taking a few lumps from schools in higher classifications in nondistrict play.
That is apparent when you look at Brusly’s 18-12 record. The Panthers have 10 losses to Class 5A teams. Like Parkview (22-7), Brusly is 4-0 in 6-3A.
“You play those teams (5A teams) to get ready for the playoffs, and we both do it,” Brusly coach Beau Bouvier said. “Believe it or not, I won’t mention Parkview to our team until practice (Wednesday). “This is a big game, but win or lose there are others and we have to keep that in mind.
“The thing that’s always impressed me about Parkview is the way they hit the ball. Everybody talks about Nicky. Getting her out is important, but they’ve got other girls who can hit too.”
Parkview is led by shortstop Nicky Dawson, an LSU signee who is hitting an incredible .674 with 53 runs scored. Dawson collected her 49th career triple Wednesday in a game against St. John-Plaquemine, setting a national high school record.
The Eagles use two pitchers, Taylor Spencer (12-1) and Anna Bordelon (11-6).
Bordelon’s worth goes beyond the circle. In her first year as a full-time hitter for PBS she has a .463 average. Second baseman Lexi Dautel is hitting .397 and center-fielder Annemarie Peavy has 34 RBIs.
Weems said Spencer will start in the circle. Bouvier said he will choose between Camryn Comeaux (5-1), Hannah Gaudet (5-6) and Mary Cathryn Comeaux (5-3), noting that all three will likely warm up Thursday.
Mary Cathryn Comeaux leads the Panthers with a .418 batting average and also plays center field. First baseman Karli David is at .361 with a team-high 24 RBIs. Catcher Kaitlyn David is batting .344.
Bouvier said whether or not his team can get the timely hit will be crucial. Weems takes a different fundamental approach.
“I’d say talent wise it’s pretty even,” Weems said. “It usually comes down to who makes the fewest physical and mental errors. Most rivalries do.”