Silver performances for Mt. Carmel, Abp. Hannan

mca1    Archbishop Hannan was close to winning a third consecutive Class 1A softball championship when it was stung by a swarm of Hornets in the final inning of the championship game.
    Mount Carmel’s attempt to win its first Class 5A softball title since 2008 was lost in a display of shock and awe by  a Sam Houston pitcher whose array of seven different pitches kept the Cubs stymied.
    And St. Charles Catholic was little match for the No. 2 seed and defending Class 3A champion Buckeye in the quarterfinal round of the Louisiana High School Athletic Association’s Fast Pitch 56  tournament in Sulphur on April 26-27.
    Hannan, the 1A champion in 2011 and 2012, was sitting on a 3-0 lead in the sixth inning over Catholic High of Pointe Coupee, the team the Lady Hawks defeated for the title last year, when the Hornets struck back with a vengeance.
    The No. 3 seed tied the game in the bottom of the sixth, then added the winning run in the eighth when Jordyn Davis’ base hit rolled to the left field fence to score Katelyn Bellelo.
    It was a stunning defeat for Hannan, the No. 5 seed, which won its quarterfinal round game over No. 4 Central Catholic of Morgan City, 1-0, on Bailey Tuminello’s ninth- inning home run, then coasted past No. 16 Westminster, 5-0, in the semis.
    The Lady Hawks had high hopes of a three-peat and had the experience to accomplish the task in seniors, pitcher Maddi Shelton, shortstop Kimberly Nilsson, first baseman Sydney Finch and second baseman Brooke Laigast, who were part of those title teams.
    Shelton pitched two shutout wins and was on her way to a third victory when the Hornets struck. Hannan ends the season with a 21-9 record and moves up to Class 2A next season.
Overachieving Cubs
hannan2    Mount Carmel, the District 9-5A champion, performed above and beyond what was expected of them, according to their coaches, who considered making it as far as Sulphur lagniappe to a successful season.
    The Cubs, seeded ninth in Class 5A, opened the tournament with a shocking defeat of the No. 1 seed, Hahnville, 5-2, in the quarterfinal round, then gained a berth in the finals by rallying to defeat No. 4 Live Oak, 7-5, in the semifinal round.
    Bolstered by senior pitcher and LSU signee Caitlyn Betbeze and a team laden with eight seniors, the Cubs tuned up for the state tournament by scheduling difficult games against Hahnville and Class 2A champion John Curtis.
scc    The championship game at the Frasch Park complex was played under a steady rain. But that was not as much the Cubs’ problem as was Sam Houston heavy bats and the performance of another LSU signee, pitcher Baylee Corbello, who struck out 16 Cubs.
    Mount Carmel closed the season with a 24-8 record.
    St. Charles Catholic, who also last won a state title in 2008, was unable to match hits with Buckeye’s bats, which accounted for six runs in the fourth inning and three more in the fifth to end the game on the 10-run rule. The Lady Comets, who lose seven seniors, finished the season with a 21-7 record.
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