Parkview Baptist senior Nicky Dawson couldn’t have envisioned a better farewell to the home portion of her All-American career.
It wasn’t so much the conclusion of a 10-4 victory that cinched a return to the Fast Pitch 56 state tournament and celebratory postgame hugs that brought a smile to Dawson’s face, but the early stages of Friday’s Class 3A state regional against E.D. White.
Top-seeded Parkview Baptist (26-8) struck for four first-inning runs before No. 17 E.D. White responded in the top of the second with three of its own — two on a home run from pitcher Avery Sanders.
Instead of buckling under the momentum change Parkview answered with four more runs in the same inning and added single runs in each of the third and fourth to earn a state quarterfinal date next Friday in Sulphur against either St. James or Pine Prairie.
“There was definitely a shift when they came back with three,” said Dawson, who singled, scored three runs and stole three bases. “I think that pulled out more fight in us than we thought we had.”
Dawson was the catalyst in Parkview’s tone-setting first inning with a walk and stolen base. She scored from third on a wild pitch.
Pitcher Anna Bordelon was part of a stretch of six straight batters that successfully reached base, driving in a run and eventually scoring on a wild pitch. Hannah Fontenot’s sacrifice fly to left accounted for her team’s final run of the inning.
“We’ve been talking about setting the tone early,” PBS coach Ashlee Weems said. “We’re at home and on defense first, we need to set the tone in the circle and we did the last two games. We’ve come back offensively and scored in those two innings. It helps with our confidence also.”
E.D. White, a third-place team from District 8-3A, answered in emphatic fashion when Sanders homered off Bordelon with a runner aboard. The Lady Cardinals (15-13) cut it to 4-3 on Anna Rodenburg’s run-scoring triple to left.
“We’ve been down before,” E.D. White coach Belynda Vinning said. “We’ve come back, but it didn’t quite work out for us today. They fought hard.”
Four runs on three hits from Parkview in the second made it 8-3.
Dawson, an LSU signee, led off with a single and scored on a passed ball along with Audrey Greeley. A sinking liner to right from Lexie Dautel (2-for-4) drove in another run, while Ann Marie Peavy scored on the back end of a delayed steal of home.
Bordelon limited E.D. White to one more run in the fifth on Sanders’ sacrifice fly. The right-hander allowed 10 hits, walked one and struck out two.
Parkview, which also had 10 hits, added to its lead Savannah Adams’ RBI single in the third and Hailey Weems’ solo homer in the fourth.
“You work for Sulphur and then you reach beyond that,” Dawson said. “There’s nothing like the tournament. I’m ready and hopefully we can achieve our next goal.”