Perfect seasons are few and far between. And when the team name is Chaos, perfection is not the first thing that comes to mind.
But a perfect season is just what the 18-and-under Chaos softball team coached by former LSU baseball star Ben McDonald accomplished.
The 13-member squad made up primarily of players from Livingston Parish ended its summer run with a 51-0 record that included winning the National Softball Association’s Class A national title in Chattanooga, Tenn., last weekend.
McDonald’s Chaos squad won six tournaments, including two state tournaments. A year ago, the squad had a third-place national finish.
“I went into the season with the idea that we could be very good,” McDonald said. “But I don’t think you ever expect to go undefeated. There are so many different variables during any summer.
“I wasn’t keeping track of it (streak) until one of the girls told me, ?Hey coach, that’s 35 in a row.’ There was some pressure involved, but the girls handled every situation. It was a wonderful season.”
McDonald, who also made his mark with the Baltimore Orioles, formed the Chaos organization seven years ago when his daughter Jorie, now a Denham Springs High player, began playing tournament softball.
McDonald picked the name Chaos because it symbolized the issues he had putting together his first team. He almost opted not to have a Chaos squad in 2011. Late last year, McDonald was approached by Les Ray, the father of Holden High standout and Southeastern signee Blake Ray, about formulating a team.
Ray and former Walker High head coach Kristy Saltaformaggio were assistant coaches.
Chaos got a big boost when former Walker High pitcher Kaylee Guidry joined the squad. Guidry played at Louisiana College last spring and is transferring to LSU-Euinice for 2011-12.
“Kaylee gave us a shutdown, No. 1 pitcher,” McDonald said. “She only gave up nine runs all summer and five of those were in the championship game last Saturday.”
Baton Rouge Community College signee Haley Grantham, of Holden, and Southern University signee Kendall Stevenson, of Mandeville’s Fontainebleau High, were the other pitchers.
University of Louisiana at Lafayette signee Linzee Cifreo, of Walker High, was the catcher.
Cifreo’s RBI hit that scored Blake Ray provided the margin of victory over the Ohio Magic in the NSA title game.
Denham Springs High’s Brianna Ensminger (first base), SLU player Megan McCullum of Lafayette High (second base), Live Oak High’s Brooke Morris (shortstop) and Jorie McDonald (third base) made up the infield. DSHS’ Kirsten Davis also played some at second base.
DSHS’ Natalie Landry (left field), Blake Ray (center field) and BRCC signee Haley St. Amant, of Ponchatoula, (right field) made up the outfield. BRCC signee Cameron Hill, of French Settlement, split time with David as a designated hitter and played first base.
Landry hit four home runs during the NSA tournament and led the team with 10 home runs. Cifreo added three home runs during the national tourney. Blake Ray hit leadoff and also was an offensive catalyst.
McDonald said a balanced offense that included individual leaders was the key.
“We had some leaders on offense, but really everybody - from top to bottom of the order - contributed,” McDonald said. “That’s the amazing thing. You had girls from several schools who came together and accepted their roles. That’s why they were able to do something special.”