South Beauregard advances past Eunice behind pitching of Simpkins

South Beauregard junior pitcher Karina Simpkins struck out 14 on Monday in a 3-1 win over Eunice in the first round of the Class 3A playoffs.

Rodrick Anderson Prep Sports Reporter
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Jaci Buxton’s sacrifice bunt helped set up South Beauregard’s third run in Monday’s 3-1 win over Eunice.

Rodrick Anderson Prep Sports Reporter
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LONGVILLE — South Beauregard junior pitcher Karina Simpkins put together a dominating performance in the circle on Monday to lead the No. 8 Lady K’s to a 3-1 win over No. 25 Eunice in the bidistrict round of the Class 3A playoffs.

Simpkins had a perfect game going until issuing a walk to Eunice’s Natalie Vidrine with two outs in the top of the fifth inning and finished with 14 strikeouts in a two-hit complete game.

“She (Simpkins) was on and we definitely needed it,” South Beauregard head coach Brandon Bushnell said. “We were a little tense at the plate.

“She picked us up today. It is definitely good to get a win in the first round.”

Vidrine moved to second on a passed ball but Simpkins caught Nicole Vidrine looking at the third strike to end the threat.

Eunice catcher McKenzie Guillory broke up Simpkins’ no-hit bid with a two-out low line drive home run over the left field fence, but Simpkins again responded with a strikeout.

No. 8 South Beauregard improved to an area best 25-1 and will host No. 9 Crowley in the regional round. Crowley beat Madison Prep 15-0 on Monday.

It was South Beauregard’s first playoff win since beating Port Barre 5-4 in 2013. A win over Crowley would send the Lady K’s to the state tournament in Sulphur for the first time since 2009.

“I did not envision 25-1,” Bushnell said. “I knew we would be very competitive this year.

“A couple of weeks in, we were 10-0 and they just started believing in themselves. I think their confidence is through the roof right now.”

South Beauregard struggled against Eunice pitcher Jailyn Pavich, managing just five hits and leaving seven runners stranded.

“A is a win, don’t get me wrong, but I would have like to score a few more runs,” Busnell said. “Their pitcher did a good job of keeping us off balance.

“She was inside, outside and up and down. We would get runners on and couldn’t get that big hit. We have to get more consistent at the plate. We need to do some stuff with less than two outs. It seemed like we kept doing everything with two outs today. We have to try to get some base runners on earlier where we can play our game.”

After two walks and a hit by Becca Hayes loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the first inning, Emelle Price scored the Lady K’s first run on Cassie Hutton’s sacrifice fly to left field and Morgan Eaves added a RBI single up the middle with two outs.

In the bottom of the fourth inning, South Beauregard catcher Jaylen Coleman reached base on a bunt. Courtesy runner Xylia Fontenot moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by Jaci Buxton and scored on a double to center field by Jaclyn Deason.

Eunice (11-21) tried to rally in the top of the seventh inning when Hailey Sonnier hit a single off the 15-foot wall in center field by Simpkins got Natalie Vidrine to pop up to end the game.

‘A couple of weeks in, we were 10-0 and they just started believing in themselves. I think their confidence is through the roof right now.’

Brandon Bushnell

South Beauregard head coach