Barbe capitalizes on errors to knock Tors out of playoffs

Barbe’s Kylie Bergeron (22) tags out Sulphur’s Aby Massey (1) at 3rd during their first round playoff game at Barbe High School in Lake Charles, La., Tuesday, April 17, 2018. (Rick Hickman/Lake Charles American Press)

Rick Hickman

{{tncms-inline alignment=”left” content=”<p class="p1"><span class="s1"><strong>Barbe </strong></span><span class="s1"><strong>11, </strong></span><span class="s1"><strong>Sulphur </strong></span><strong>6</strong></p>” id=”9180d079-3f9d-45c3-af22-382fd17d734b” style-type=”fact” title=”Class 5A Bi-district” type=”relcontent”}}

The first two matchups between Barbe and Sulphur were decided by one run, but the third time around, the Bucs took advantage some early errors by Sulphur to win 11-6 on Tuesday in the bi-district round of the Class 5A playoffs.

No. 16 Barbe (16-12) racked up 12 hits to give head coach Candyce Carter her first playoff win, but Carter said she would like to have seen the Bucs score more runs after leaving 10 stranded.

“It was a different game,” Carter said. “Offensively, we found a way to get runners on. 

“I honestly don’t think we did a great job of pushing runs across. We did leave quite a few people on base, but they did a good job at capitalizing and ran the bases well. They stuck to the plan and did good job.”

The Bucs will have to quickly switch gears with a road date at No. 1 Ouachita Parish (25-3) in the regional round coming up. Ouachita beat Barbe 17-9 earlier in the season and beat John Ehret 15-0 on Tuesday.

“It means a lot (to the team),” Carter said. “It is awesome to get a win and we are going to celebrate tonight, but we have to get back to the grind tomorrow. 

Barbe’s Lexie Heisser (17) drives in 2 runs in the bottom of the 1st inning during their first round playoff game at Barbe High School in Lake Charles, La., Tuesday, April 17, 2018. (Rick Hickman/Lake Charles American Press)

Rick Hickman

“We saw them at the beginning of the season. Starting tomorrow we are going to get our mind off Sulphur and get our mind on Ouachita.”

Sulphur (15-12) committed two of its six errors in the first inning and the Bucs took advantage when Lexie Heisser, the hero of the Bucs’ 6-5 win over Sulphur earlier this season, hit a bases-clearing three-run double before being thrown out at third trying to turn it into a triple.

“That (errors) is something that we worked on earlier in the year and those are things that happened early in the year to us and it caught up to us tonight,” Sulphur head coach Julie Mancuso said. “You take away some of those and it takes away some of those runs and it is a closer game. But I think Barbe did a good job tonight putting things together.”

Sulphur battled back in the top of the second on an RBI single by Abby Lobue and Chrislyn Ryan’s bloop two-run single that dropped just out of reach of Barbe right fielder Jennifer Perkins and second baseman Kylie Bergeron.

But the next two innings proved to be the Tors’ undoing. In the second, Kiley DeHart reached on an error and scored on ground out by Gracie Guidry and Barbe scored two runs on two errors in the third.

Barbe added another run in the fifth and four in the sixth, including a two-out, two-run double by Bergeron.

Sulphur didn’t go down without a fight, scoring three runs in the top of the seventh on a pair of home runs, a solo shot to left field by freshman Vega Tower and a two-run blast to right field by fellow freshman Abi Massey. Sulphur loaded the bases after a pitching change with two outs, but the Bucs were able to get out of the jam.

“I told them that last inning that I didn’t care what the score was, don’t give up and don’t go down without a fight and they sure did,” Mancuso said. “That is indicative of this team all year long. I can’t be more proud of this group. 

“They are fun to be around. They work and they don’t ever give up.”

Barbe 11, Sulphur 6

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