Brusly rode its potent offensive attack to two big innings and a 13-3, five-inning win over St. John of Plaquemine in a special benefit game Tuesday at Brusly High.
The Panthers pounded out four hits in scoring six runs in the first inning against eighth-grader Kyndal Guillory, who started in the circle for the Eagles. Catcher Shelby Fleming led the barrage with a three-run triple.
“We’ve averaged nine or 10 runs a game and double-digit hits (this season),” Brusly coach Beau Bouvier said. “We definitely hit the ball and made the most of our chances tonight.”
Nine of the Panthers’ runs came from spots five through nine in their batting order, led by third baseman Lanesha Taylor, who was two for three at the plate and scored three runs, and center fielder Carlie Comeaux, who also tallied three runs. Fleming added a single and another RBI in the third inning.
“One through nine (in the batting order) we feel like we can do some damage no matter who’s at the plate. We have confidence in all our nine hitters,” Bouvier said.
St. John coach Oliver “Cricket” Crockett was impressed with Brusly’s early offensive production.
“Give Brusly credit. They came out swinging the bats,” he said. “They looked really good, like the number two or three team in Class 3A. I think we’re both good teams, but they were just better than us tonight.
“We had some good swings, but they made plays and we just came up a little short.”
Guillory came back to pitch a perfect second inning, setting Brusly (25-4) down in order, but she struggled again in the third before giving way to Kamryn Theriot.
The Panthers plated five runs in the inning led by Akia Thymes’ two-run double just inside the foul line behind third base.
Carli Jo LeBlanc pitched a complete game for Brusly to run her record to 15-4 on the year. She allowed only two base runners in the first three innings before Jessie Brown touched her for a solo home run in the fourth inning. The Eagles followed with base hits by Guillory and Alana Blanchard, but LeBlanc recorded two strikeouts to end the inning.
St. John (19-10) got 2 RBI from Brooklyn Pierce in the fifth, but Taylor threw out Guillory on a ground ball for the final out and the 10-run win.
“There was a lot going on today, and it was a good rivalry game,” Bouvier said.
“We only had an hour to get ready for the game, but we had pitching, we had offense, we had defense. When you get those three things, good things happen.”
The game was the culmination of a day of special activities dedicated to foreign-language teacher Sylviane Finck-Lozada, who went missing in the summer. The school dedicated a garden in her honor, and proceeds from the softball game will help fund foreign-language scholarships for two Brusly High students.
Principal Walt Lemoine paid tribute to Finck-Lozada before the game as “a teacher who exemplified professionalism and encouraged athletes to excel in the classroom as well as on the field.”
Lemoine also introduced four guests from Finck-Lozada’s native Belgium: her sister and brother-in-law, Ghislaine and Patrick Paquet; along with longtime friends Alex and Max Brun.
Ghislaine Paquet and Alex Brun threw out the first balls to begin the game.