SULPHUR — John Curtis defended their Class 2A state softball championship by claiming a 3-2 win against Riverside Academy at the Louisiana High School Athletic Association’s Fast Pitch 56 State Softball Tournament on Saturday afternoon at Frasch Park

The Patriots looked to have the game in hand in the top of the seventh inning leading 2-1 with two outs. But a fielding error by pitcher Katie Brignac allowed the Rebels’ Rayne Weber to score and tie the game .

John Curtis (33-1) answered in the bottom of the seventh inning. Pinch-hitter Tara Stauder started the rally with a single. Brooke Lee followed with another single to give John Curtis runners on second and third with two outs. Then Brignac redeemed herself with the winning RBI to right field.

“Not enough words to describe that hit,” John Curtis coach Jerry Godfrey Jr. said. “We kind of faulted a little bit in the top half of the inning when we had the out. At that point, we took it one batter at a time. We pinch hit for a girl and a freshman steps up and gets on, then we followed with two bunts. It is kind of like of how our season has gone for us.”

The Rebels threatened in the first inning. Taylor Terrio, who collected all three Riverside’s hits, reached based on a single followed by a Toni Hebert walk. Katie Bailey loaded the bases with a walk, but Brignac struck out Hailey Tassin to end the threat.

Riverside took the lead in the third inning after Hebert’s sacrifice fly scored Terrio, who reached base on a triple to open the inning.

John Curtis’ offense came alive in the bottom of the fourth inning after being silenced by Riverside’s Destin Vicknair. Rachel Brokhous’ two-run home run to left field fence gave Curtis the lead.

Brokhous, who gained Class 2A Outstanding Player honors, led the Patriots going 2-for-2 with a triple and had two RBIs.

“She’s been playing lights out like that the whole year,” Godfrey said. “I can’t say enough about her. She had a middle part of the year slump, and she was really down but she didn’t let it keep her down and she kept swinging and working all year.”

Terrio went 3-for-4 to lead Riverside.

Other games

ST. THOMAS MORE 7, BELLE CHASSE 0: In the 4A semifinals, Bailey Hemphill hit two home runs, including a grand slam to power Lafayette’s St. Thomas More to victory.

Hemphill finished 3-for-4 and had six RBIs for the Cougars. STM pitcher Whitney Romero limited Belle Chasse (30-4) to four hits and struck out four. Romero also was 2-for-4 at the plate. Kelsey Riley and Mallory Horton each finished 1-for-3 to lead Belle Chasse.