RUSTON — Natalie Parker had the best of both worlds while leading 21st-seeded Denham Springs to a 7-5 victory over Ruston to open the LHSAA’s Class 5A softball playoff Monday.
Not only was Parker the winning pitcher, her two-run home run in the top of the seventh gave the Yellow Jackets a 7-2 lead and ultimately provided the winning margin. Parker also returned to the mound in the bottom of the seventh to record the final two outs on a pop-up and groundout.
“I am so proud of this team,” Denham Springs coach Leslie Efferson-Yellott said. “There have been times this year when we played not to lose instead of just playing to win. We definitely played to win today. In this game, it’s all about timely hitting and today we got some timely hits.”
With the win, Denham Springs (13-17) advances to play the winner of Tuesday’s game between No. 5 Mandeville and 28th-seed Haughton in the regional round.
Madison Wolverton finished 2-for-3 for DSHS. The Yellow Jackets used a combination of walks, hits and errors to build a 4-0 lead in the second inning. Paige Luquette’s two-run triple was the key hit in the second.
Parker pitched 4⅓ innings to start the game. Ruston (18-12), the No. 12 seed, sent seven batters to the plate in the bottom of the seventh.
DOYLE 15, RAYVILLE 0: In Livingston, freshman pitcher Marley Olivier got plenty of offensive support in a short period of time.
Olivier allowed just one hit in the three-inning game played at Sartwell Park. She struck out four. The Tigers (19-12) pounded out 12 hits in the Class 2A game, led by Kylie Merrell, who finished 3-for-3 at the plate.
Caitlinn Fruge and Kaitlyn Savant both finished 2-for-3 for the winners, who will face the winner of Tuesday’s Fisher-Oakdale game in the regional round later this week.
Heaslip wins Metro title
Episcopal's Riley Heaslip carded a 6-over-par 78 to claim top individual honors and also helped her team tie for the title at the Metro Girls Golf tournament Monday at Beaver Creek Golf Course in Zachary.
Heaslip finished two shots ahead of St. Michael freshman Alexis Gonzalez. Zachary's Kylie O'Brien shot an 81 to place third in the one-day tournament. Episcopal and Zachary finished with the low team scores of 168 and tied for the title. University and Parkview Baptist tied for third, both compiling a 201 team score.
McKinley’s Tyrell Hargrove signed a track scholarship with the University of Louisiana at Lafayette on Monday at McKinley. Hargrove is a 800 meters specialist who has also competed in the 400 and also on two relays.
Two more St. Michael athletes are scheduled to sign later this week. Volleyball player Sadie Edmonston is scheduled to sign Kentucky-based Cumberland University at 9 a.m. Thursday. At 9 a.m. Friday, football player Chase Fisher is scheduled to sign with East Texas Baptist University.