A year ago, the Greater New Orleans area landed seven softball teams in the LHSAA state semifinals in Sulphur.
With the three usual suspects out of the Catholic League — Dominican, Mt. Carmel and John Curtis — having already punched tickets to Frasch Park, nine teams look to join them in a series of quarterfinals matchups taking place both locally and out of town Saturday.
The group still alive is a mixture of favorites and major underdogs, those with plenty of recent deep postseason runs and those trying to break through for the first time in years.
Here’s what the nine remaining teams have on the line heading into Saturday.
NO. 23 DESTREHAN AT NO. 2 AIRLINE (Class 5A): On paper, this looks like a long shot for the Wildcats, but then again, so did each of their first two postseason upset victories, both 1-0 wins in stunning fashion. The first, capitalizing on astute baserunning late, and the second 13-inning pitchers’ duel. With star pitcher Tyler Oubre on the mound, Destrehan may be capable of knocking off anyone.
Game details: 1 p.m. Saturday at Airline
No. 8 Academy of Our Lady at No. 1 Parkview Baptist (Division II): As the two-time defending state champions, Parkview Baptist has proved a dominant force in each of the past three postseasons. But Academy of Our Lady played Parkview closest in recent years, dropping a 9-8 game in the 2017 Division II semifinals. The Penguins will look to garner that type of offensive production again.
Game details: 2 p.m. Saturday at Parkview Baptist
No. 5 Thomas Jefferson at No. 4 De La Salle (Division II): Both these local teams struggled to produce in their quarterfinals appearances a year ago, with the Jaguars falling 17-3 to top-seeded Parkview Baptist and the Cavaliers dropping a 5-1 decision to Hannan. This year, one of them is guaranteed a spot in the semis.
Game details: 5 p.m. Saturday at the JPRD Softball Complex
No. 6 St. Thomas More at No. 3 Haynes Academy (Division II): Before this season, the Yellow Jackets had lost in the first round of the playoffs five consecutive years. After passing that hurdle with a decisive 9-0 defeat of St. Scholastica earlier this week, they’re the favorites to reach the state semifinals.
Game details: 2 p.m. Saturday at the JPRD Softball Complex
No. 7 St. Charles at No. 2 Hannan (Division II): A year ago, these two teams clashed in the Division II semifinals, with St. Charles prevailing 4-1 before a loss in the final to Parkview Baptist. This year, the semis are only big enough for one of them, as Hannan looks to hold off another upset loss.
Game details: 11 a.m. Saturday at Coquille Park
No. 5 Catholic-N.I. at No. 4 Riverside (Division III): Even with last year’s blowout loss 11-1 to St. Thomas Aquinas in the quarterfinals, Riverside has plenty of familiarity with deep postseason runs. In Saturday’s home contest, the Rebels look to make their third trip to the semis in five years.
Game details: 2 p.m. Saturday at Riverside
No. 10 Country Day at No. 2 Calvary Baptist (Division III): During a seven-year span from 2011-18, the Cajuns softball team never made it past the first round, but after last year’s trip to the quarterfinals, Country Day is looking to take things one step further after having pulled off one upset in the first round.
Game details: 2 p.m. Saturday at Calvary Baptist
Inclement weather pushes back decisive Catholic League baseball games
Along with numerous high school sports contest, the pair of baseball games that will help decide the District 9-5A title were rained out Thursday because of the heavy storms forecasted for the New Orleans area Thursday afternoon and evening.
With two teams still in the running for the crown tied with 8-3 league records, the squads will have to wait until Saturday afternoon to decide their fates on the last day of the regular season. After the Blue Jays’ 2-1 loss to Rummel on Tuesday, Jesuit will look to rebound for a win that would clinch at least a share of the title. The two meet again at 10:45 a.m. at John Ryan Stadium.
Later in the day, Brother Martin will look to clinch their own share of the championship with a win over St. Augustine, which they beat Tuesday 10-1, at 2 p.m. at Wesley Barrow Stadium.