Home runs power Crowley to Sulphur

<p>South Beauregard catcher Jaylen Coleman runs into third baseman Alexis Lapoint but makes the catch in the third inning of a 5-3 Crowley win in a Class 3A regional playoff game Friday in Longville.</p>Rodrick Anderson Prep Sports Reporter

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LONGVILLE — The long ball has been the only thing that has stopped the South Beauregard Lady K’s this season.

<p class="indent">Friday evening in the Class 3A regional playoff round, No. 9 Crowley hit three home runs to upset No. 8 South Beauregard 5-3.

<p class="indent">In the Lady K’s’ (25-2) only other loss this season, Westlake hit three home runs to win 11-6 in extra innings.

<p class="indent">Crowley (24-8) entered the game with 40 home runs and got its first in the third inning when Nella La-Grange hit a solo shot to left field to tie the score at 1-1.

<p class="indent">“We knew they were a very good offensive club,” South Beauregard head coach Brandon Bushnell said. “We just tried to limit it to hopefully nobody is on base.

<p class="indent">“Honestly, I thought we did a pretty good job holding them to five runs. If you had told me that before the game, I would have took it.”

<p class="indent">South Beauregard was looking for its first trip to the state tournament in Sulphur since 2009 and look energized in the first inning after taking a 1-0 lead. Jaclyn Deason led with a single to right field and Emelie Price moved her into scoring position on a sacrifice bunt. Deason scored on a ground out by Alexis Lapoint.

<p class="indent">After Crowley tied the score at 1-1, South Beauregard responded in the bottom of the third inning to take a 2-1 lead on Morgan Eaves’ two-out RBI double, but the Lady K’s left seven runners stranded in the game.

<p class="indent">“We came out the gate really excited,” Bushnell said. “I thought we played great early on.

<p class="indent">“We left a few runners on early, but I think energy-wise the whole game we played excited and the emotion you want to see in the playoff game.”

<p class="indent">Crowley tied the score at 2-2 on Jocelyn Marceaux’s RBI single in the top of the fifth and took the lead for good after Morgan Guidry hit a two-run blast deep over the right-center field fence with two outs on an 0-2 count for a 4-2 lead.

<p class="indent">“The pitcher (Karina Simpkins) pitched very well and I feel like she barely missed some spots and we put good swings on it,” Crowley head coach Josh Schrader said. “If we put good swings on it, we have a chance to put it over the fence.”

<p class="indent">Breana Larry added a solo blast to left field in the sixth to put Crowley up 5-2.

<p class="indent">Deason sparked a brief rally with a solo home run with one out in the bottom of the seventh, but Crowley pitcher Lagrange forced two ground outs to end the game.

<p class="indent">Simpkins (17-2) was handed her second loss of the season despite striking out 10 batters.

<p class="indent">Crowley advanced to the Louisiana High School Athletic Association state softball tournament for the first time since 2013.

<p class="indent">“It is very exciting,” Schrader said. “It has been building up.

<p class="indent">“This is my fourth year here. I have had these seniors as freshmen. They have gone through a first-round loss, second-round loss and now they have made it. Every year they just got a little better.”

Crowley 5, S. Beauregard 3

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