After pounding out 10 hits Saturday afternoon, the Archbishop Hannan Hawks are headed back to Sulphur and the state softball tournament.
No. 6-seeded Hannan defeated No. 22 seeded Ouachita Christian 8-3 in the Class 2A regional softball playoffs.
The Hawks (21-8) will advance to the state tournament at Frasch Park in Sulphur. Hannan will play No. 3 Rosepine on Friday in the state quarterfinals. Rosepine defeated No. 6 Catholic of New Iberia 3-1.
“We hit the ball well today,” Hannan coach Becky Lambert said. “We just hit the ball well, and have been hitting the ball well the last five to six games. Everybody throughout the lineup has seemed to be seeing the ball well.
“We talked all week heading into this game that we wanted to keep pressure on (Ouachita Christian). Our hitting should keep the pressure on them and if we do our job in the circle and defensively, we should come out on top.”
Hannan scored two runs in the first inning. Lindsey Osbon and Allie Hutton led off with back-to-back singles and advanced to second and third on a Shaye Tredinich groundout.
After Jensen Volz walked to load the bases, Lauren Wegener hit a two-run single scoring Osbon. Courtesy runner Kaitlyn Wendt, running for Hutton, was able to also score, making it 2-0 Hawks.
“Being able to push across two runs in the first inning was huge. Any time you are able to play with a lead, that makes your job that much easier,” Lambert said.
Hits just kept piling up for the Hawks.
“Our hitting is becoming contagious, which is a fantastic thing,” said Osbon, who later hit a three-run triple. “In a game like this, with the stakes being so high, you want to play your best. Everybody wants to win and is going for the same goal. It is just fun to be a part of this team.”
Leading 3-0 heading into the fourth inning, the Hawks put the game away with four runs. Sydney Williams led off with a double and Lauren Distefano reached on an error. After Kaitlyn Allen reached on an infield single, Osbon cleared the bases with a three-run triple.
Hutton drove in Osbon a batter later with an RBI groundout.
Finishing the game 2-for-3 with a run scored, Allen said she is excited the Hawks are returning to the state tournament.
“I can’t even explain the feeling,” Allen said. “It is just super awesome. It just hasn’t even sunk in yet. I’m really excited that I was able to help the team win by doing whatever I can. I am not the biggest player size-wise, so I use my speed. That’s my contribution.”
In the circle, Hutton picked up the complete-game victory, allowing three runs on nine hits, striking out three and not walking a batter.
“With our offense breaking out to such a big lead, I knew that meant I just had to throw strikes,” Hutton said. “It gives you a little breathing room in the circle, and you know your job is to just throw strikes and make them put the ball in play.”
Hannan players wore yellow ribbons in their hair for suicide awareness and a show of solidarity with Mandeville High School, which had two students take their own lives last week.
“A lot of us knew one of the students who took their own life this past week,” Osbon said. “Our hearts go out to them. Anything we can do to show support for our friends is something we want to do.”