Even when you’re the No. 1 seed in Class 5A, a softball playoff rematch can offer an “Oh no” moment. It was a no-no instead for St. Amant High.
Gabby Sharp tossed her first playoff no-hitter, striking out four in a 12-0 five-inning victory over No. 32 Chalmette to open the playoffs on Tuesday at Butch Gore Park.
“That does feel pretty special,” Sharp said of the no-hitter. “Even when I was doing my spins I thought ‘This is going to be a really good game.’ ”
With the win, the unbeaten Gators (25-0) advance to host No. 16 Barbe in the second round. Barbe defeated Fontainebleau 12-2 on Tuesday.
Sharp didn’t walk a batter and retired Chalmette in the first two innings on a total of nine pitches. Sharp’s fourth no-hitter of the season was one error away from being a perfect game. That error, a rare miscue by shortstop Kara Gremillion in the third inning, was more of an after thought.
“She (Sharp) was amazing today … all her pitches were on,” SAHS catcher Taylor Trabeaux said. “Warming her up I could see it. She had a little extra pop and all of her pitches were strikes, even in warm-ups.”
The game was a far cry from a year ago when St. Amant notched a 5-1 victory over the Owls (15-11), also in a No. 1 vs. No. 32 match-up. The Gators did all their damage against three Chalmette pitchers in two innings, scoring five runs in the first and seven in the fourth.
“We don’t have large numbers for a 5A school and Katrina really hurt us, so this is learning process for these girls,” Chalmette coach Kirk Carlin said. “They (St. Amant) are a quality program.”
Left-fielder Abby McKey finished 3-for-4 with a double, two runs and three RBIs for the Gators. Taylor Tidwell was 3-for-4, while Gremillion was 2-for-3 with two runs scored. Trabeaux also was 2-for-3 three.
St. Amant scored its five first-inning runs before Chalmette recorded an out. Trabeaux and McKey had back-to-back doubles in the inning.
The second Chalmette hurler, Sarah Russell, held the Gators in check until the bottom of the fourth. SAHS pounded out eight hits, forcing another pitching change.
Sharp finished much the way she started, retiring the Owls on nine pitches in the fifth to end the game.
“You have to go out and execute,” Tidwell offered. “You don’t never know when it could be your last game.”
Scott Nielson reminded his team afterward that their job is far from over even though another win would clinch a state tourney berth.
“This one gets you nothing … except the chance to play one more game,” Nielson said.
LIVE OAK 14, THIBODAUX 0: Also in Class 5A, third-seeded Live Oak (21-3) got a huge boost from Gisselle Ash, who finished 3-for-4 with a double and six RBIs. Amanda Holliday tossed a one-hitter and also was 2-for-3 at the plate.
PARKVIEW BAPTIST 9, PATTERSON 1: Fourth-seeded PBS jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first inning in 3A. Nikki Dawson accounted for one-third of the Eagles’ hits, finishing 3-for-4 with a triple and three RBIs.
Lexi Dautel was 1-for-3 and and had a game-high four RBIs.
BRUSLY 7, ST. LOUIS CATHOLIC 4: Also in 3A, winning pitcher Camryn Comeaux helped her own cause by going 2-for-3 with a double, a triple and two RBIs for the seventh-seeded Panthers (20-11).
Akiya Thymes was 2-for-2 and scored two runs. Karli David added an RBI while going 2-for-3.