Local softball teams on the road to ‘Fast Pitch 56’
Archbishop Hannan’s Fab Four of softball have designs on graduating this year with a third Class 1A state softball championship.
As sophomores and juniors, the foursome of Kimberly Nilsson, Sydney Finch, Maddi Shelton and Brooke Laigast were key players in the Lady Hawks winning back-to-back titles. Now they are back for a final encore.
The fact that Hannan is not the No. 1 seed means little. Coach Becky Lambert’s team was seeded No. 4 when it won in 2011 and No. 3 last year. So being the No. 5 seed in the bracket is no deterrent.
Hannan was scheduled to meet Vermilion Catholic and Opelousas Catholic in the early playoff rounds. Wins over the two would put the Lady Hawks in the Fast Pitch 56 state tournament in Sulphur on April 26-27.
Ten other local Catholic schools also qualified for the playoffs.
Mount Carmel, Dominican, Archbishop Chapelle and St. Scholastica qualified in Class 5A; Ursuline Academy, Cabrini and the Academy of Our Lady in Class 4A; St. Charles Catholic and St. Mary’s Academy in 3A; and Pope John Paul II in 2A.
Because of their positions in the brackets, the teams with the best chances of punching their tickets to Sulphur are Hannan and St. Charles Catholic, a No. 7 seed. The two are the highest seeded teams in their immediate brackets.
A No. 8 seed in 2012, the Academy of Our Lady advanced to the Class 4A semifinal round before losing to Leesville, 3-2, in eight innings.