WATSON — Denham Springs softball coach David Bourque said it doesn’t take much for the team’s inspirational leader Brittany Case to impact a game.
With the Yellow Jackets playing from behind the entire game and facing a one-run deficit, Case made the best of a 0-2 count at the plate.
Case simply poked the next pitch in front of the pitcher’s circle for an infield single, setting the table for a sixth-inning uprising, as Denham Springs rallied for four runs on six hits in an 8-5 victory Friday against Hahnville in the 18th annual Live Oak tournament.
“We’ve got some great leaders like Brittany,” Bourque said. “She struggled earlier but was smart enough to realize she needed to get on and she did. That’s what started the rally.
“When she’s on, our machine runs real well.”
Denham Springs’ offensive engine, which collected 13 hits, went into overdrive with four straight singles, including a two-run single from Kaitlyn Thompson that provided the Yellow Jackets with their first lead at 6-5.
After the second out of the inning, right fielder Bailey Fucich added another two-run single.
“We stay calm when the pressure’s on,” said Thompson, who went 4-for-4 with three RBIs. “We’ve got trust in each other. We have to swing at pitches we know we can hit hard, and we’ve got to make the plays we know we can make.”
The Hahnville-Denham Springs game matched two of the state’s Top 10 teams in Class 5A.
Hahnville, which was riding a four-game win streak and leads District 7-5A, lost to Denham Springs for the second time in nearly two weeks, falling 10-3 at the St. Amant tournament.
“The bottom line is when you have two good 5A teams playing you want to be in a position at the end to win,” Hahnville coach Jerry Nugent said. “They got the hits they needed and I tip my cap to Denham. That was about Denham executing. It wasn’t about us lacking somewhere.”
Three runs on three hits staked Hahnville to a 3-0 lead in the top of the first on Sarah Vauetta’s two-run single with the bases loaded. Kamryn Keller added a sacrifice fly to drive in Pryscilla Prince.
Denham Springs closed to within 5-3 with two runs in the second on an RBI-single up the middle from Case, who later beat the throw home on an outfield error.
Sophomore Allison Irby (4-1) came on in relief of starter Hollie Morrison and silenced Hahnville’s offense, allowing one hit in three scoreless innings.
“She came in and changed the momentum,” Bourque said. “Hollie did a great job of keeping us close. Irby came in and got ahead of batters and that helps us.”
Thompson scored on a wild pitch in the fifth after leading off the inning with a triple. Her game-winning single an inning later came on a 1-0 pitch that scored Case and Harli Crow.
“We just do what we always do, and that’s continue to fight,” Bourque said. “Hahnville’s a quality team. It’s a game and you have to keep playing. Anything can happen. They never quit.”