Polished finish: Pappion dusts off Cougars

Warren Arceneaux

Barbe wrapped up its softball regular season in style, beating St. Thomas More 5-1 Thursday at McNeese State behind a dominant pitching performance from Halie Pappion and a big swing from Nyjah Fontenot.

Pappion allowed one hit and struck out nine. Fontenot launched a three-run home run to center field in the bottom of the sixth inning to give the Bucs (27-2) some breathing room. She also drove in the Bucs’ first run with a single to center in the first inning, scoring Kyie Dehart, who led off the inning with a triple. Brenna Moncrief doubled to score Fontenot.

Those runs were all Pappion would need. The lone Cougars (20-9) hit came in the third inning, when Akili Greene doubled off the centerfield wall. She scored later in the inning on a Meredith Fontenot sacrifice fly.

“She was hitting her spots today, doing what she is supposed to be doing,” Bucs head coach Candyce Carter said of Pappion. “She was keeping her pitch count low. I’m proud of her.”

Dehart had three hits and Fontenot and Moncrief added two each.

“We hit the ball hard, just trusted the process,” Carter said. “We got her pitch count up towards the end of the game and fell in our favor.”

The Bucs closed the regular season with wins over Southside, Acadiana and STM after losing to Sam Houston last week. Barbe outscored its opponents 30-3 in the three wins.

“I feel good about where we’re at; we’re excited,” Carter said. “We’re very happy with what were able to do in the regular season, but now that’s over. We are 0-0 and we have to stay the course and go to work.”

The Bucs entered the game ranked third in the Class 5A power ratings. The top four seeds play at home if they reach the quarterfinals. Barbe reached the championship game in 2019.””

Halie Pappion winds up to deliver a pitch against St . Thomas More during a nondistrict softball game Thursday at McNeese State . Pappion threw a one-hitter with nine strikeouts .

Rick Hickman / American Press

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