Denham Springs appeared to be on the cusp of a big third inning that could have had larger implications had Parkview Baptist shortstop Nicky Dawson not intervened.
The swing in momentum went a long way in changing the Eagles’ fortunes.
Dawson ranged over deep in the hole, then the LSU commitment slid to her knees to backhand a hot shot, got up and threw to third for a force out with the bases loaded.
Parkview Baptist, trailing by three runs, responded by tying the game in the fourth, taking the lead in the fifth and adding to key insurance runs for a 9-6 nondistrict softball victory Monday over Denham Springs.
“That was definitely the turning point in the game,” Parkview coach Ashlee Weems said. “She makes huge plays a lot of times, and I think the girls feed off of that. That play gave us a little momentum, and the pitcher (Taylor Spencer) a little more confidence. It let her know the defense was there if she missed a pitch.”
It was the next-to-last scheduled preparation for both teams before the start of next week’s state playoffs. Parkview visits St. Amant, and Denham Springs hosts St. Thomas More with both games set for Wednesday.
PBS (24-8), the District 7-3A runner-up, responded to Dawson’s highlight-reel play by batting around in the fourth, relying on Lexie Dautel’s sacrifice fly and first baseman Savannah Adams’ game-tying, two-run triple with two outs.
“It was (center fielder) Morgan Acosta’s senior night, so I wanted to get the win for her,” said Adams, who had two of PBS’ five hits. “I knew the runners were in scoring position, and I needed to go outside and I just went with the pitch. I tried to stay on top of it, and it worked out.”
The Eagles also benefited from a pair of errors and five walks in the five-run inning to gain a 6-4 lead.
“When you make errors against a good team, it will make you look bad,” said Denham Springs’ David Bourque, coach of the District 4-5A runners-up. “We did some positive things with the number of hits we got. We didn’t quit. We’ve got to get back to work. The playoffs are still there for us.”
Parkview wound up scoring a total of eight unearned runs, the final three coming over the last two innings with Denham Springs finishing with six errors.
PBS’ freshman Anna Bordelon, who took over for eighth-grader Taylor Spencer in the sixth, had to repel one final charge from DSHS, which had four of its 10 hits with two out in the seventh.
The Yellow Jackets scored on an error and soft liner to left from Bailey Hughes (4-for-5, 2 RBIs) but left the bases loaded for the third time in the game when Kaitlynn Thompson flew out to Nicole Simmons in right.
“It was a little nerve-wracking. They’re a good 5A team,” Adams said. “Our pitchers had been struggling a little bit. Anna came out and did better today. We got enough hits and scored enough runs to where we could make some mistakes and it wouldn’t hurt us.”