BRUSLY — As teams go deeper into the playoffs, softball typically becomes a sport of opportunity. When opportunity knocked Tuesday, top-seeded Brusly High answered.
The Panthers (32-2) used two errors to score three runs in the third inning. It was just the boost Brusly needed to notch a 5-0 victory over No. 16 St. James in Class 3A regional-round playoff action at My-U Field.
“I felt like we were very prepared coming into this game,” Brusly pitcher Mary-Cathryn Comeaux said. “We had two good practices. Caroline (Gassie, Brusly catcher) called a good game and we got a going.”
Comeaux, a Southeastern Louisiana University signee, did her share to keep the Panthers going with 13 strikeouts. St. James got its only hit in the seventh and got two runners on in the sixth. In the sixth, Comeaux induced a flyout by her counterpart, St. James pitcher Kiri Parker to end any threat.
Trysten Tregre’s single to right opened the seventh for the Wildcats. Comeaux struck out the next three hitters to end the game. The Panthers travel to play eighth-seeded South Beauregard in the quarterfinals later this week.
Saylor Young, who finished 2-for-3 for the Panthers, was the only player with multiple hits in the game that had the look and feel of teams closer than No. 1 and No. 16 in the power ratings.
“(St. James) are better than a No. 16 seed and I told their coach that,” Brusly coach Beau Bouvier said. “When we got a chance to score runs, we had to take advantage of it and we did. They muffed a couple in the outfield, we got runners on and took advantage of that.”
The Panthers capitalized on two St. James errors in the third inning. Savannah Bezet singled with one out. Pinch-runner Jordyn Patrick took second on an error and scored when Comeaux singled. Comeaux advanced to second on an error and Angel Bradford was hit by a pitch.
Gassie drive to the outfieldf also was misplayed, scoring both Comeaux’s courtesy runner Maddie Becker and Bradford to make it 3-0.
A bases-loaded RBI single by Britt Bourgoyne scored the fourth run in the sixth. Bradford drew a bases-loaded walk to bring home the final run.
SJHS coach Benton Ford praised his team for being resilient. He took over as the Wildcat coach in December. Because the softball field at the new St. James school complex is not yet complete, the Wildcats practiced and played at community park.
“I’m so proud of these girls for the way they battled all year,” Ford said. “But you can’t give a team like Brusly extra outs. We did that in one inning and it was the difference.”