Slidell locked up the District 6-5A softball championship nearly two weeks before they played their league finale at Fontainebleau.
But the victory they scored over the Bulldogs on Thursday afternoon still was special. It cemented a 12-0 district mark, and the feat came against the team that has won or shared six consecutive league championships.
Slidell defeated Fontainebleau 1-0 to seal its undefeated district season. The Tigers (17-4, 12-0) will play two more games against nondistrict opponents before playoff brackets are released next week. Fontainebleau has one nondistrict game remaining and is expected to make the postseason.
Thursday’s win was much closer than Slidell’s previous win over Fontainebleau — an 11-1 romp March 17.
“We were flat today,” Slidell coach Robin Herdliska said. “But like they have all year, they found a way to win.”
A lackluster day at the plate for Slidell (six hits) was made easier by Tamara Larche. The senior pitcher threw a complete game, allowing only three hits and striking out eight. No runner reached third base against Larche (16-4.)
“This feels good,” she said. “We just have to keep getting better as a team. But we did what we came to do. We got the win. … It feels pretty good to (break Fontainebleau’s streak of championships.) The district title needs to be home in Slidell.”
Slidell scored its run in the top of the second after Riley reached on an error. Leigha Suarez sacrificed her to second and went to third on an infield single by Hannah Stockstill. Allison Vincent drove in with a sharp single to left.
“All it takes is one, and hopefully the rest follow,” Vincent said.
Slidell had a chance to pad its lead in the third, when Larche singled and Angel Nikolas reached on an error. After Dari Foret sacrificed them to second and third, a suicide squeeze play failed with the runner being thrown out at home by Fontainebleau pitcher Brenae Bergeron. A pop-up to Bergeron ended the inning.
The Tigers stranded two runners in scoring position in the fourth inning. Slidell left eight total runners on base against Fontainebleau, with six on either second or third base.
Fontainebleau (13-7, 7-5) got its first hit off Larche in the fourth when Bergeron singled. She moved to second on a sacrifice by Caroline Randazzo but was caught in a rundown for the second out of the inning. Larche forced a groundout to keep the Bulldogs scoreless. Gabby Albi, who had two hits for Fontainebleau, had a two-out single in the seventh, but Larche recorded her eighth strikeout to end the game.
“Congratulations to Slidell,” said Fontainebleau coach Chris Nelson. “We had a good run with six district championships. … But Slidell had a fantastic year. But hats off to our kids, too.
“They finish 7-5 in district, and they are a young team. They had a ‘stick-to-it-ive-ness’ and kept fighting.”