Out of 254 postseason-bound Louisiana high school softball teams, the girls of Dominican are the only ones who can claim to be the hunted from around the New Orleans area.
Still searching for the program’s first state title, the mascot-less squad took the first step earlier in March, capping an undefeated District 9-5A slate toward an 18-3 record, its first outright district title since 2004 and the owners of the only local top seed among the 12 state softball tournament brackets released by the LHSAA on Wednesday.
With that honor, though, comes a long time off. Many select schools earned byes through this week’s first-round matchups, though Dominican will advance straight into the April 26 semifinals held at Frasch Park in Sulphur in the seven-team Division I bracket.
A year ago Dawn Benoit’s squad made the trip, advancing past top-seeded Mt. Carmel in the semis before falling 7-5 to second-seeded John Curtis in the title game. Curtis, which finished tied for second with the Cubs at 3-3 in the Catholic League, earned the No. 2 seed in the bracket, along with No. 3 Mt. Carmel and No. 7 Chapelle.
Elsewhere in the top non-select bracket in Class 5A, a pair of squads who made trips to the state semis a year ago look to begin mounting return trips in the next couple days.
Hahnville, which fell to Ouachita Parish 10-9 in last year’s final, earned the bracket’s No. 12 seed. Another semifinalist last year, Mandeville sits at No. 10 and will host local foe No. 23 Destrehan. Northshore earned the top local seed at No. 7 and will host No. 26 Chalmette, and it's joined in the bracket by No. 22 Fontainebleau and No. 32 Covington.
The Division II bracket also boasts a pair of teams looking to capitalize on the experience gained from deep runs a year ago. After a trip to the semis, Hannan earned this year’s No. 2 seed and will host No. 15 Lusher, while last year’s finalist St. Charles was named the seventh-seed to host No. 10 Teurlings Catholic.
Elsewhere in the bracket, No. 3 Haynes will host No. 14 St. Scholastica, with No. 4 De La Salle, No. 5 Thomas Jefferson, No. 8 Academy of Our Lady and No. 16 Cabrini all making trips to the postseason.
In Division III, No. 4 Riverside will host to No. 13 Pope John Paul II, while No. 7 Patrick Taylor will face No. 10 Country Day with No. 6 Northlake Christian and No. 14 St. Katharine Drexel also getting bids. In Class 4A, No. 7 Belle Chasse earned the top local seed, followed by No. 8 Lakeshore — who will host No. 25 Edna Karr in the first round — along with No. 15 Pearl River, No. 23 Riverdale and No. 32 Warren Easton. No. 20 West St. John also picked up a bid in Class 1A, along with Kenner Discovery in Class B.
New Orleans-area softball playoff schedule
*Non-select first round games will played by Saturday. Game info provided is listed.
No. 32 Covington at No. 1 Sam Houston, 4 p.m. Friday
No. 21 Comeaux at No. 12 Hahnville
No. 22 Fontainebleau at No. 11 Pineville, 5 p.m. Thursday
No. 26 Chalmette at No. 7 Northshore, 4 p.m Friday
No. 23 Destrehan at No. 10 Mandeville, 4 p.m. Friday
No. 32 Warren Easton at No. 1 Leesville, 5 p.m. Thursday
No. 25 Edna Karr at No. 8 Lakeshore, 5:30 p.m. Friday
No. 26 Bastrop at No. 7 Belle Chasse, 4 p.m. Friday
No. 23 Riverdale at No. 10 Lutcher
No. 18 Plaquemine at No. 15 Pearl River, 4 p.m. Thursday
No. 20 West St. John at No. 13 Ringgold
No. 26 Kenner Discovery Health Science at No. 7 Choudrant, 4:30 p.m. Friday
*Select first-round games will be played by Wednesday. Game info provided is listed.
First-round byes: No. 2 John Curtis, No. 3 Mt. Carmel, No. 7 Chapelle
Double-bye: No. 1 Dominican
No. 16 Cabrini at No. 1 Parkview Baptist, 5 p.m. Tuesday
No. 9 St. Louis at No. 8 Academy of Our Lady, 4 p.m. Tuesday
No. 12 University Lab vs. No. 5 Thomas Jefferson, 4:30 p.m. Tuesday at Terrytown Playground
No. 13 E.D. White vs. No. 4 De La Salle, 4:30 p.m. Tuesday at JPRD Complex
No. 14 St. Scholastica at No. Haynes Academy
No. 10 Teurlings Catholic at No. 7 St. Charles, 4:30 p.m. Tuesday
No. 15 Lusher vs. No. 2 Hannan, 5 p.m. Monday at Coquille Park
No. 13 Pope John Paul II at No. 4 Riverside
No. 14 St. Katharine Drexel at No. 3 Holy Savior Menard
No. 11 St. Thomas Aquinas at No. 6 Northlake Christian, 5:30 p.m. Friday
No. 10 Country Day vs. No. 7 Patrick Taylor, 4:30 p.m. Thurdsay at Westwego Playground