After seeing St. Charles Catholic end its season in back-to-back years, Archbishop Hannan had enough.
It wasn’t going to happen in 2019.
The No. 2-seeded Hawks scored all their runs in their final three innings to defeat No. 7 St. Charles Catholic 9-1 Saturday afternoon in the Division II state softball quarterfinals at Coquille Parks & Recreation Complex in Covington.
With the victory, the Hawks (24-6) advance to the state tournament next weekend in Sulphur and await the winner of No. 3 Haynes Academy and No. 6 St. Thomas More in the state semifinals.
St. Charles Catholic finished 17-11.
Clinching its fifth straight trip to Sulphur, Hannan held a brief 1-0 lead after scoring an unearned run in the fourth inning only to see St. Charles Catholic tie it in the fifth.
In the bottom of the fifth, the Hawks took the lead for good. With two outs Gentry Spinks singled and Amelia Mares doubled, putting runners on second and third with two outs. Sophomore third baseman Sydney Thompson, who had to sit out her freshman season, lined a two-run double into right field to give Hannan a 3-1 advantage.
“This feels great,” Thompson said. “To be part of helping this team make it back to Sulphur, it’s just amazing. I’m glad I was able to do my part. I only got to watch this team play last year, so I wasn’t going to waste my opportunity when it presented itself this year.”
Up 3-1, Hannan put the game away win the sixth inning, exploding for six runs on six hits. First baseman Sarah Dufour had an RBI single, shortstop Alexis Dale had a two-run double and Spinks smacked a two-run homer.
Dale, who finished the game 3-for-4, said the win was a long time coming.
“We have been practicing so hard for this,” Dale said. “This game has been our motivation. We have all been up since about 6 a.m. excited to play and get out here.”
Meanwhile in the circle, junior right-hander Alex Clesi was impressive, allowing a single run on her way to picking up the complete-game victory. Clesi struck out 10 and scattered seven hits.
“My team was so hyped up and it showed,” Clesi said. “But what I liked the most was when St. Charles Catholic came back and tied it up, we still kept our composure and stayed calm. We knew there was a job to be done and we immediately answered with two runs to grab the lead back. Now it’s on to Sulphur.”