Kinder, Rosepine no strangers
Tournament intensifies rivalry
Rosepine’s Morghan LaTour (17) celebrates after their victory over Kinder Lady Jackets during their Class 2A quarterfinal round game of the Allstate Sugar Bowl/LHSAA Softball State Tournament, Thursday, April 27, in Sulphur, La. (Rick Hickman/American Press)
With a pair of teams in both Classes 2A and 1A, Southwest Louisiana is well represented among the smaller classifications at the state softball tournament, which gets underway Thursday at Frasch Park in Sulphur.
Leading the contingent are a pair of returnees from last year’s 2A field, Kinder and Rosepine. They will meet in a 2A quarterfinal at 5 p.m. Friday.
The Eagles reached the semifinals last year, beating Kinder 6-1 in the quarterfinals.
The Yellow Jackets (25-4) swept a pair of regular-season games against the Eagles (19-11) this season.
Kinder head coach Skip Pickle said being familiar with the Eagles doesn’t matter too much.
“You can look at it two ways: it is good that you know them, but they also know you pretty well,” he said. “They still have several good players left over from the good teams they have had last several years. They have a lot of experience and are a well-coached team, a well-established program. We have a lot of respect for them.”
The Yellow Jackets have earned plenty of respect, wining 24 of their last 26 games, with both losses coming against Notre Dame, the No. 2 seed in Division III.
“We have had a consistent lineup, not many changes,” Pickle said. “That is an advantage for us.”
The Eagles are led by infielder Haylee Brinlee, a McNeese State signee. The Yellow Jackets have an all-state infielder of their own in Kate Trahan.
Last year’s 2A champion, Mangham, is back and will open against No. 5 Avoyelles Charter.
LaSalle is back to defend its title, led by a pair of returning all-state pitchers in Taylor Snow and Keely Parham.
Among their challengers will be South Cameron and Oberlin. South Cameron (12-11) is a tournament regular and reached the semifinals last season. The Tarpons are led by pitcher Allie Bonsall and Karlee Nunez, who had three hits and drove in four runs in a 17-2 regional-round win over Haynesville.
The No. 6 Tarpons (12-11) will open against No. 3 Delta Charter at noon Friday.
Oberlin (11-15) advanced to Sulphur in dramatic fashion, scoring four runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to beat Gueydan 6-3. Amber Perkins capped the comeback with a three-run walk-off home run. The Tigers open against top-seeded Oak Grove, last year’s runner-up.
Classes B and C
Returning champions Holden and Plainview will defend their crowns. The Rockets are again the top seed in Class B, while Evans enters as the No. 1 seed in Class C.
Defending champions Calvary Baptist (Division III), Cedar Creek (D-IV) and Claibore Christian (D-V) are back. Calvary and Cedar Creek are No. 1 seeds, while Claiborne Christian enters as the fourth seed. Northside Christian is the No. 1 seed in Division V.
Play starts Thursday with quarterfinals in Class C and Divisions I-V.
Classes B and 1-5A quarterfinals will be played Friday with all semifinals and finals slated for Saturday.