SULPHUR — The chance for rivals Parkview Baptist and Brusly to meet again seemed likely after they overpowered quarterfinal opponents Friday.
First, heavy rains and lightning delayed the start of Saturday’s semifinal game at the Allstate Sugar Bowl/LHSAA Fast Pitch 56 State Softball tournament. Then two Cinderella teams, fourth-seeded Kaplan and No. 15 Lutcher, stormed past the District 6-3A duo in semifinal games played Saturday at Frasch Park.
Was it a perfect storm? That depends on who you ask.
Lutcher beat Brusly 4-1 to advance to the title game for the first time since winning a 3A title in 2009. Kaplan made it to a title game for the first time since 2007 with its 8-2 victory over Parkview.
“We had to overcome major injuries, and we started off the season winning four out of 12,” Lutcher coach Cathy Bland said. “We came back the second half of the season and we fought and fought. Our pitchers came back healthy, and we did everything we needed to do as a team.”
Pitcher Brenn Ursin led Lutcher. She tossed a four-hitter and struck out 10. The Bulldogs had only three hits off Brusly’s sister duo of Camryn and Mary-Cathryn Comeaux. One of those hits was a two-run home run by Ursin that punctuated a four-run fourth inning for LHS. Allie Roussel had a two-run triple.
Brusly loaded the bases in the sixth. Camryn Comeaux just missed a home run to center. Her sacrifice fly brought home the only run for the sixth-seeded Panthers (23-14).
“We had our chances,” Brusly coach Beau Bouvier said. “They had two big hits, and we did score enough runs. I told them (BHS players) be proud of they got. You’ve got to have breaks, and it didn’t happen.”
Bouvier credited Lutcher for its inspired play. Parkview coach Ashlee Weems praised Kaplan. The Pirates got a home run by Alexa Lege and scored three runs in the fourth and four in the fifth.
“I don’t want to take anything away from Kaplan, because they’re a very good team,” Weems said. “It was a bad day to have a bad day on defense for us. That’s what happens here at this tournament. One team capitalizes.
“I’ve had some great teams and seniors but this one is so memorable. Their chemistry was great and we put them up against the best competition and they answered the call more often than not.”
Audrey Greely led PBS by going 3-for-4 at the plate. Kaitlin David was 2-for3 for Brusly.
ALEXANDRIA 7, LIVE OAK 0: Fifth-seeded Live Oak (25-7) stranded 16 runners and top-seeded Alexandria (29-4) overpowered the Eagles with a nine-hit attack that included home runs by Caroline Manzer and Carrie Boswell.
“We needed that timely hit and didn’t get it today,” Live Oak coach Michelle Morris said. “They’re a great team with a great pitcher. It’s a tough way to end. When you talk about losing seniors, people say you lose a crew, and I’d have to say we’re losing the best.
“All five seniors have contributed so much, and several will go on to the next level. It’s a tough way to end it, but you know there are days like this.”
Lauren Brown finished 4-for-4 for LOHS.
CATHOLIC-PC 7, ASCENSION CATHOLIC 4: Just as it did in a quarterfinal win over No. 1 Oak Grove, Catholic-Pointe Coupee got out to an early lead, scoring four runs in the third.
There were bright spots for fourth-seeded Ascension Catholic. Center fielder Rae’Shaun Malancon was 2-for-4 with a solo home run and a double. Alicia Canatella also was 2-for-4 with two RBIs.
“Having Julia (Beck, pitcher) and Rae’Shaun came in and made a huge impact from the time they were freshman. What they’re leaving behind is this – they made the program better because they were in it.
“I credit them (CHSPC) for is being so scrappy and competitive. They took advantage of some mistakes we made defensively. That made the difference.”