Big games for Westlake, DeRidder at state tourney

STRIKE ZONE

In this edition of the Strike Zone, Rodrick Anderson and Warren Arceneaux discuss the softball state tournament.

What is the best quarterfinal game involving a large school?

WA: Caldwell Parish vs Westlake in 3A. The Rams have produced plenty of excitement in the first two rounds — Myka Lester homered and threw a no-hitter in the first round, then the Rams knocked off defending state champion North Vermilion on the road in extra innings in round two. Like the Rams, Caldwell can score in bunches so there should be plenty of action in this one.

RA: DeRidder vs. Belle Chasse in 4A. DeRidder finished one game short of the state title game last year and returns everyone from that semifinal team, including LSU Eunice bound pitcher Lauren Parson. Parson’s will be the key against Belle Chasse’s big hitting lineup that includes Brookelyn Sweeny and Kelsey Johnson.

What is the most interesting small school game?

WA: Kinder vs. Rosepine in 2A. An all-local affair between two tournament regulars. Kinder has one of 2A’s top pitchers in Sarah Gartman while Rosepine has a top slugger in Haylee Brinlee.

RA: South Cameron vs. Delta Charter in 1A. South Cameron made it all the way to the semifinals last year. The Tarpons have won six of their last eight games, but will be the underdog in the quarterfinals against No. 3 Delta Chater, who is making its first trip ever to the state softball tournament in Sulphur.

Who is a player to watch?

WA: Sam Houston’s Jil Poullard is a force of nature who can impact a game several ways. She has power at the plate, speed on the basepaths and quickness in the field at third base.

RA: Kinder’s Sarah Gartman. The senior pitched a nine strikeout, 3-inning perfect game in the first round of the playoffs and was just one hit away from a perfect game in the second round against French Settlement.

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