KAPLAN — Kaplan senior shortstop Olivia Gabor made a bevy of clutch plays for her team in its 4-2 victory over North Vermilion on Wednesday as KHS took possession of first place in a tough District 6-3A.
The LSU-Eunice commitment said she remembered the loss in the 3A softball quarterfinals to North Vermilion and has used that game as motivation, not just against the Patriots, but everyone.
“The last three years we made it to Sulphur, but we’ve only got to the quarterfinals,” she said. “We’ve never got to the semis. This year we need to get to the last day on Saturday and make a name for ourselves.”
Gabor and the Pirates have definitely made a name for themselves in district and in Class 3A this season.
The Pirates are 11-2 and ranked No. 2 in the LHSAA’s unofficial Class 3A power rankings. Gabor’s calm demeanor and hard work has rubbed off on her teammates, and it showed down the stretch of a tight game versus North Vermilion.
“She deserved the win,” Kaplan coach Shay Herpin said. “She is a hard working individual who has really helped our program.”
“I try to keep everyone calm and let everybody know what’s going on,” Gabor said. ‘I like to keep everybody zoned it.”
Gabor’s decision to commit to a softball powerhouse in LSU-E was not as cut-and-dry like one would expect, but it was Lady Bengals coach Andy Lee who made Gabor’s choice easier.
“I really thought I had decided not to play softball anymore and then coach Lee offered,” Gabor said. “I decided to take a visit, and once I went over there and met everybody, I didn’t want to leave. I thought it was the perfect place, and it’s not too far from home.
I love the atmosphere and the campus. Coach Lee is very nice, and I’m happy to play for him.”
In addition to her calm disposition, Gabor said she is committed to winning.
“Winning is a big thing for me,” she said. “I think a winning place is somewhere you want to go. It means a lot to me.”
Before Gabor dons a Lady Bengals uniform, she has the rest of her senior season to play out as the Pirates continue their quest for a state championship.
Eleven games are left in the regular season, but Gabor said her team took a huge step in the right direction Wednesday.
“I think it helps our team get some pressure off,” she said. “It shows that we can do our job, so I really think it will help us down the line.”
Gabor and the Pirates will play at Rayne on Monday.