Sam Houston's Corbello repeats as state's Miss Softball

By By Warren Arceneaux / American Press

LAKE CHARLES (AP) — A preseason rib injury turned Baylee Corbello into a hitter only for most of the season.

But when playoffs began the senior was back at home in the pitching circle, leading Sam Houston High to a third consecutive

state softball title. Corbello struck out 16 in an 8-0 shutout win over Mount Carmel Academy in the Class 5A title game.

Corbello finished the season 7-0 in the circle and batted .459 to earn her second consecutive Farm Bureau/Miss Softball award,

which is given annually by the Louisiana Sports Writers Association.

John Curtis pitcher Katie Brignac, who led

the Patriots to an undefeated season and second straight Class 2A title,

was runner-up.

Corbello is only the third two-time winner of the award, joining

Teurlings Catholic's Beth Provost (2001-02) and Curtis' Ashley

Brignac (2006-07).

Corbello's injury limited her to a

designated hitter role for most of the regular season. While unable to

throw, Corbello

served as a guide to her replacement, freshman Tanner Wright, who

went undefeated in District 3-5A play and earned honorable

mention all-state honors.

"It was something different, but at the same time it helped me as a player," Corbello said of not being able to pitch.

"I got to help Tanner at the beginning of

the season, and that helped me as a pitcher. I look it as a blessing.

Since I was

limited at practice, I would help Tanner with spins, talk with her

if she had a question, I was basically her pitching coach....

She improved quickly and should not have a problem next year."

Corbello said she had help from an elder pitcher before she took over in the circle for the Broncos, leading Sam Houston to

the 4A title game as a freshman in 2010.

"I was friends with Brianna Granger, the

pitcher before I came up (from eighth grade), so I was already preparing

that year

to pitch because I knew I had to. I think I was well-prepared. I

play on a high-quality tournament team, I had been playing

against California teams and all the best teams that summer so it

was not like I was intimidated. Brianna had seen me pitch

and just told me to keep working and stay focused."

Once Corbello was cleared to pitch, she

quickly regained her form, beating Class C state champion Hackberry 1-0,


out 12 in a one-hit win over Notre Dame and striking out 17 in a

2-1, extra innings win over Teurlings Catholic. In the playoffs,

she pitched no-hitters in each of the first two games, wins over

Pineville and No. 3 seed West Monroe.

"It felt like I had never stopped," she said. "I hadn't pitched in four months, and to be able to come back and be accurate

like I was, that is how you know it was from God. I was so happy."

Corbello said the degree of difficulty this season made this year's championship memorable.

"This was the hardest road we had to take in my four years, we were definitely the underdog going into it," she said.

"I am so happy my team proved to everybody that we could be the best, that it was not some fluke that we won. We beat the

top teams in the state to earn the title. It was probably the most exciting championship, because it was our senior year.

We had an amazing coach (Beth Domingue) and I had amazing teammates. That was rewarding."

Corbello has signed with LSU. She said she hopes she is remembered at Sam Houston for her team-first attitude.

"I want people to remember me as someone that was always excited to play, was a good team player and a leader," she said.

Past Winners

1996: Ashley Lewis, Central

1997: Ashleigh Ivey, Barbe-Lake Charles

1998: Micah Barbato, Lafayette

1999: Mandy Mullins, Sacred Heart-Ville Platte

2000: Sarah Meadors, Denham Springs

2001: Beth Provost, Teurlings Catholic-Lafayette

2002: Beth Provost, Teurlings Catholic-Lafayette

2003: Britni Bowen, Sterlington

2004: Leah Heintze, St. Amant

2005: Kellie Eubanks, St. Amant

2006: Ashley Brignac, John Curtis

2007: Ashley Brignac, John Curtis

2008: Lauren Crane, Vandebilt Catholic

2009: Lauren Wilson, Belle Chasse

2010: Christina Hamilton, Rosepine

2011: Courtney Ivey, Oak Hill

2012: Baylee Corbello, Sam Houston

2013: Baylee Corbello, Sam Houston