MOSS BLUFF — After letting the excitement get to her in the first inning, Sam Houston pitcher Jenny Griggers spent the rest of the game producing excitement of her own, leading the Broncos to a 7-6 win over Ponchatoula Friday in a Class 5A regional playoff game.
The Broncos (29-3) advanced to the state tournament next week. They will meet No. 6 Airline in the quarterfinals at 5 p.m. Friday. Airline advanced with a 6-2 win over Acadiana.
The Broncos scored a pair of runs in the bottom of the seventh inning. Griggers doubled to score Jordan Lafosse with the tying run, and Andie Edwards followed with a double to score courtesy runner Kaylee Cooper with the winning run.
Ponchatoula (18-11) had led throughout game, scoring four runs in the top of the first as Griggers struggled with nerves. Hannah Hawkins singled in the first Green Wave run. Cameron Dionne added an RBI double and Tate McKinnon added a two-run double. All of the runs came with two outs.
“In the first inning, I was just all in my head,” Griggers said. “The noise got to me.”
Jil Poullard launched a two-run homer to center field in the bottom of the inning to keep Sam Houston close. Edwards beat out an infield single in the fourth inning and scored on a sacrifice fly by Maddie Pourciaux to narrow the lead to 4-3.
Ponchatoula stretched the lead to 6-3 on a two-out, two-run double by Hawkins in fifth inning. Sam Houston scored a run in the bottom of the inning when Poullard reached third on a misplayed fly ball and scored on a grounder by Lafosse. The Broncos pulled within 6-5 in the sixth when Kimber Hamilton singled to score Maddie Pourciaux. Sam Houston head coach Beth Domingue said the toughness her team showed to make the comeback has been its trademark all season.
“I love the fight,” she said. “It is hard to come back like that, to fight every inning over and over like that is huge. Griggers had a little bit of nerves in the first inning, but after that was outstanding. She did her job at the plate.”
Griggers finished 4-for-4 with two doubles.
“I don’t know how that happened, I was just trying to help my team,” she said. “(Before the last at-bat) I was just thinking to put the ball in play to make something happen.”
Edwards had three hits, a run and RBI. Kyla Hamilton added two hits.
Hawkins had two hits and three RBIs to lead Ponchatoula. Julia Oubre reached base three times.