SULPHUR — Seven state softball championships will be decided Saturday in Sulphur.
The Fast Pitch 56 began Friday with the quarterfinal round and ends Saturday night with the semifinal and championship games.
Seven area schools — Sam Houston, DeRidder, DeQuincy, Grand Lake, Hackberry, Elizabeth and Starks were in action. Sam Houston, Grand Lake, Hackberry and Starks won Friday, while DeRidder, DeQuincy and Elizabeth lost.
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Baylee Corbello finally gave up a hit, and a run, but Sam Houston beat Dutchtown in a Class 5A quarterfinal.
The Griffins (21-8) scored a run in the bottom of the second inning on a double by Jessica Crum and single by Ali McCoy, but the Broncos (19-9) responded with six runs in the next inning.
Marcella Myers led off with a single and moved to third on a Corbello double off the left-field fence. Carleigh Chaumont singled to score Myers with the tying run. Tori Lantz walked to load the bases, and Alli Fields drilled a triple to the right-center field gap to drive in all three runners and give the Broncos the lead at 4-1. Fields scored on a fielder’s choice by Taylor Edwards, who scored on a single up the middle by Abby Jolie to make it 6-1.
“The way they scored, I told them it was stuff we did wrong more than they did right,” said Sam Houston head coach Beth Domingue.
It was more than enough for Corbello, who threw no-hitters in Sam Houston’s first two playoff games. Corbello is 21-1 in the playoffs in her career, and will have a chance to pitch in her fourth championship game if the Broncos beat St. Amant in the semifinal round Saturday afternoon.
St. Amant, a five-time state champion, is the highest-seeded team remaining in the field at No. 2. Sam Houston is the lowest at No. 19.
For DeRidder, it was like going to a gunfight without all your bullets.
After three decades of trying to get back to the state tournament, the Dragons arrived without their top pitcher.
Injured Jamie Wentzel was forced to watch from the bench, as DeRidder’s run to the state championship ended at Frasch Park.
Wentzel, forced to be on crutches, tore an anterior cruciate ligament in the first game of the playoffs, and while the Dragons (23-5) tried they could not overcome the loss in the Class 4A quarterfinals.
No. 4 Belle Chasse (30-3) advanced to Saturday’s semifinal game against Teurlings Catholic, which upset top-seeded Vandebilt Catholic 8-5.
DeQuincy coach W.H. Ashworth never likes seeing Riverside Academy on his side of the bracket at Fast Pitch 56, and Friday showed why.
The Rebels dominated a quarterfinal game, advancing behind a one-hit, 16-strikeout performance by pitcher Destin Vicknair.
“She’s pretty dominant,” Ashworth said.
This is not the first time DeQuincy (18-8) has been stymied by Riverside (25-7) in the postseason.
“Four times they beat us in the semifinals, three times in the last inning,” Ashworth said. “They’re well-coached and a good team. Whenever the bracket comes out I try to find them and stay away from them.”
DeQuincy’s only hit was a Lauren Perkins double in the first inning. Vicknair retired the next 19 Tigers in order.
The third-seeded Lake Hornets came out swinging early and often and took an easy win over the Monterey Wolves in six innings.
The Hornets scoring got going early in the game with two runs in the bottom of the first inning. Ashlyn Poole hit a triple to center field and scored on a sacrifice fly by Jensen Bertrand. The second run came on an RBI single by Blair Little that scored Rebecca Monceaux to give the Hornets a 2-0 advantage.
Grand Lake (17-5) then took a 4-0 lead after gaining two more runs in the bottom of the third inning. Poole and Bertrand reached base on singles for Grand Lake. Both scored when Little had a two-RBI single with two outs.
Grand Lake advanced to the semifinals, where it will face the Anacoco Indians at 11 a.m.
Hackberry’s first-inning stats looked every bit those of a two-time defending champion: two runs on a single, a double and a triple and three strikeouts recorded by pitcher Jolie Trahan
The rest of the innings followed suit as Trahan just missed a perfect game by an error and the top-seeded Mustangs rolled into Saturday’s semifinal with a five-inning victory over the ninth-seeded Elizabeth Bulldogs.
“Coming back, we’ve gotten more comfortable with the surroundings and the fans and everything,” Trahan said.
The Mustangs (20-4) face No. 5 Northside Christian, a 6-5 winner over St. Joseph, at 11 a.m. Hackberry and Northside Christian will share a district next year.
“We started off the first inning with a pretty commanding handle,” Hackberry head coach Angie Little said. “But we take nothing for granted. I’ve been there and done that; you lose.”
Trahan struck out the first six batters she faced and 11 overall.
Though a fielding miscommunication in the top of the fifth inning resulted in an error, she still faced the minimum number of batters when Elizabeth’s Sydney LaFauci was caught stealing.
Starks head coach Jack Miller told his Lady Panthers after their quarterfinal victory that they had exorcised not just their own demons, but ghosts of years past as well.
Calvin knocked Starks out of Fast Pitch 56 three times over the past 10 years.
“That’s where me and David (Calvin head coach David Huckaby) became very good friends,” Miller said.
The seventh-seeded Panthers (11-12) scored five runs in the top of the seventh to send second-seeded Calvin (13-7) packing.
Starks will face No. 3 Georgetown, a 4-0 winner over Kilbourne, at 11 a.m. Saturday in the semifinals.
“The girls executed our game plan and we knew if they did that we could be successful,” Miller said.
Mount Carmel 5, Hahnville 2
Live Oak 5, Fontainebleau 0
St. Amant 10, Parkway 0
Sam Houston 7, Dutchtown 1
St. Thomas More 8, Vandebilt Catholic 5
Belle Chasse 13, DeRidder 3
West Ouachita 6, Neville 5
Teurlings Catholic 8, Grant 4
Brusly 9, Crowley 0
Jena 10, North Vermilion 5
Notre Dame 8, Kaplan 5
Buckeye 11, St. Charles 1
John Curtis 11, Winnfield 1
North Webster 4, Pine Prairie 1
Evangel Christian 8, Many 7
Riverside Academy 8, DeQuincy 0
Westminster Christian 9, St. John 3
Archbishop Hannan 1, Central Catholic 0
Catholic-Pointe Coupee 2, Oak Grove 0
False River 12, Ascension Catholic 5
Florien 13, Converse 0
Grace Christian 3, Zwolle 2
Grand Lake 10, Monterey 0
Anacoco 9, Stanley 2
Hackberry 10, Elizabeth 0
Northside Christian 6, St. Joseph’s-Plaucheville 5
Georgetown 4, Kilbourne 0
Starks 8, Calvin 4
No. 9 Mount Carmel vs. No. 4 Live Oak, 1 p.m. (Field 15)
No. 2 St. Amant vs. No. 6 Dutchtown-No. 19 Sam Houston winner, 1 p.m. (Field 13)
No. 8 St. Thomas More vs. No. 4 Belle Chasse, 1 p.m. (Field 16)
No. 3 West Ouachita vs. No. 7 Teurlings Catholic, 1 p.m. (Field 14)
No. 1 Brusly vs. No. 5 Jena, 1 p.m. (Field 17)
No. 6 Notre Dame vs. No. 2 Buckeye, 1 p.m. (Field 18)
No. 1 John Curtis vs. No. 4 North Webster, 11 a.m. (Field 15)
No. 3 Evangel Christian vs. No. 2 Riverside Academy, 11 a.m. (Field 16)
No. 16 Westminster Christian vs. No. 5 Archbishop Hannan, 11 a.m. (Field 19)
No. 3 Catholic-Pointe Coupee vs. No. 18 False River, 11 a.m. (Field 20)
No. 1 Florien vs. No. 4 Grace Christian, 11 a.m. (Field 17)
No. 3 Grand Lake vs. No. 10 Anacoco, 11 a.m. (Field 18)
No. 1 Hackberry vs. No. 5 Northside Christian, 11 a.m. (Field 13)
No. 3 Georgetown vs. No. 7 Starks, 11 a.m. (Field 14)
Semifinal winners, 7 p.m. (Field 14)
Semifinal winners, 7 p.m. (Field 15)
Semifinal winners, 7 p.m. (Field 16)
Semifinal winners, 5 p.m. (Field 13)
Semifinal winners, 5 p.m. (Field 15)
Semifinal winners, 5 p.m. (Field 14)
Semifinal winners, 5 p.m. (Field 16)