Outstanding Player: Karli Perque (Cabrini, Sr.)
Every year Karli Perque pitched at Cabrini, the Crescents got better.
When she was a freshman and sophomore, the softball team reached the regional playoff round. In her junior year, it reached the semifinals. This year, in her final campaign on Esplanade Avenue, it reached the Class 4A championship game, losing to North DeSoto 3-0.
Perque was the focal point of that push to the top. Her statistics in 2016 were dominant: She had a 26-7 record to go with 329 strikeouts and 44 walks in 187 innings. She posted a 0.93 ERA and hurled five no-hitters. And to boot, she had a .402 batting average.
For that performance, she has been chosen The New Orleans Advocate’s Outstanding Player for 2016.
Cabrini coach Shannon Allison said players want to “go out with a bang” in their senior seasons, but she added that Perque provided much more than numbers to the Crescents.
“She knew her importance to the team, and she accepted that role,” Allison said. “She pushed herself to be better, which made her teammates better.”
Hard work was the key, Allison said.
“If there was something she needed to work on, she worked on it,” Allison said. “She was never afraid to work. She went the extra mile in practice and after practice. She had a phenomenal year, and the drive inside of her helped create that.”
Perque said there was another important reason she was so successful.
“I couldn’t have done any of this without my teammates,” she said. “When I was having a bad day, they would pull me aside and tell me, ‘Hey, you’re better than this. Shake it off. You got it.’ ”
It worked. The Crescents outscored their first four playoff opponents 38-2 until falling in the final.
“The connection we had was incredible,” Perque said. “I know it sounds cheesy, but we were like a family. That’s the truth.”
Perque plans to pitch at Jones County (Mississippi) Junior College, with hopes of playing at Southeastern Louisiana.
THE REST OF THE TEAM
Belle Chasse, Sr.
St. Charles, Sr.
Mt. Carmel, So.
St. Scholastica, So.
Academy of Our Lady, Jr.
John Curtis, Sr.
Pope John Paul II, Sr.
Mt. Carmel, Sr.
COACH OF THE YEAR
Shannon Allison Cabrini