PLAQUEMINE — A few timely hits and a career game for St. John pitcher Kamryn Theriot helped pace the eighth-seeded Lady Eagles to a 4-0 victory over Christian Life Academy in the bidistrict round of the Class 1A softball playoffs Monday night.
The win sets up a second round matchup with ninth-seeded Sacred Heart-Ville Platte later this week.
“We knew coming in that this game was going to be tough,” St. John coach Oliver Crockett said. “We didn’t swing the bat as well as I had hoped. I thought Theriot did a good job in keeping them off balance and keeping us ahead.”
In a complete-game effort, Theriot struck out a career-high 11 hitters while scattering just two hits to earn the win.
“That’s a pretty good day for her,” Crockett said of Theriot. “She located her pitches very well. She had one or two little hiccups, but other than that, she did a great job.”
Theriot’s counterpart, CLA sophomore pitcher Amy Langlois had a good showing in the circle as well, allowing just four hits in six innings of work. However, The potent St. John lineup finally got to her with three runs in the fifth inning, the big blow coming on a Kyndal Guillory single that scored two.
“We competed, and that’s all I can ask for from these girls,” Christian Life coach Kerri Wilkerson said. “I’m proud of the effort they put forth in facing one of the best pitchers we have faced all year. Amy competed against the No. 8 team in the state, and she did what she had to do, but it just didn’t go our way today.”
St. John got an infield single by Shelbi Strickland that scored Alana Blanchard from third in the first inning.
That one-run lead held up. After walking the first batter she faced, Theriot proceeded to retire nine Lady Crusaders in a row, including striking out the side in order in the third.
The streak finally ended in the top of the fourth when CLA second baseman Gabby Seguin led off with a double to the wall in left-center field. But it did not bother Theriot as she struck out the next two batters she faced before getting Erin Higgins to pop out to short, stranding Seguin at second.
“The key to her success was that she threw a lot of strikes against us,” Wilkerson said of Theriot. “She did a very good job of keeping us off balance and coming after us during the few chances we had to score.”
St. John added some insurance in the fifth, as Langlois issued two walks to Theriot and Samantha Rivet to open the inning. After a wild pitch moved them up, Guillory slapped a pitch up the middle for a single, bringing home both runs.
Guillory later tagged from third on a sacrifice fly by first baseman Brooklyn Pearce to put St. John up 4-0.
“It was very tight in our dugout up until that point,” Crockett said. “It was nice to finally put some balls in play and get some room to breathe.”
Theriot ran into a little bit of trouble in the sixth when she had runners on first and second with two out.
CLA freshman centerfielder jumped on an 2-0 pitch and sent a sinking line drive to right field that would have scored two runs if not for a diving catch by Carlee Smith to preserve the shutout.
“Our outfield has done real well for us all season long,” Crockett said. “That was a fantastic catch by Carlee. We don’t get a whole lot of balls hit that way, so I was a little surprised at how well she handled it.”