Hahnville managed only three hits Tuesday, but it was enough to take down Chapelle 2-1 on Tuesday afternoon in Boutte and advance to the Class 5A regionals.
“I told the team it’s all about surviving and advancing in this part of the season,” Hahnville coach Gerrard Nugent said. “We expected this kind of game, to be honest.”
Karly Taranto pitched all seven innings, giving up one run on six hits for the 10th-seeded Tigers.
“I had a really good day,” Taranto said. “It was a team win. There’s really no other way to say it. Can’t do it without them.”
Taranto ran into trouble in the third inning when Chapelle loaded the bases with one out. Natalie Hester then scorched a line drive, but shortstop Kelly Ortego snared the ball out of the air and fired over to first to complete a double play to get out of the jam.
“That was awesome,” Taranto said. “I think the biggest thing was nobody panicked. Nobody thought we couldn’t get out of it.”
No. 23 seed Chapelle scored its only run on an unusual play in the fourth inning. With runners on second and third and Kerri Wetzel at the plate, the catcher attempted to pick off Gillian Grahn on third base. However, the ball hit Wetzel in the mask and bounced to the backstop, allowing Grahn to score. Nugent argued for interference, but the call stood.
Hahnville’s deficit was short-lived, though. In its next at-bat, Sarah VanEtta tripled to deep right-center field to score Danielle Duplay and tie the game at 1-1.
“I’m glad it worked out the way it did,” VanEtta said. “I really wasn’t looking to hit the ball that far. I was really just hoping to poke one through and get Danielle home and go from there.”
The next batter, Kamryn Keller, hit a soft ground ball to pitcher Samantha Mracich. Mracich decided to go home, but VanEtta managed to slide in just under the tag and put the Tigers up for good.
“Coach always says by the time he says ‘go’ it’s too late,” VanEtta said. “It’s all about reaction.
“At that time I was just thinking I had to get down and I had to score.”
Each team registered just one hit the rest of the game.
“We were expecting it to come down to one play here or there,” Nugent said. “So we got exactly what we expected.”
Hahnville will face No. 7 seed St. Amant in the second round. The date is yet to be determined.