So far so good.
After empty trips to New Orleans and Lake Charles, it’s time to put some respect back on Northeast Louisiana. For if we continue on this cold streak, a few more championship droughts could start to affect this region’s sports reputation. And it needs to be said — you can’t live off the past forever.
Luckily, we’ve got some players on the softball and baseball scene, and the ladies didn’t disappoint when they stepped to the plate first.
Ouachita, West Monroe, West Ouachita, Neville, Sterlington and Ouachita Christian were each victorious in the opening round with an average margin of victory of seven.
Sterlington got us started Thursday night with the most competitive game of the opening round. The No. 23 Lady Panthers edged No. 23 Jewel Sumner, 3-2. The Lady Panthers trailed 2-1 heading into the sixth inning before tying the game and taking a late lead off of Jayla Stewart’s RBI single.
As you could imagine from average margin of victory, the other games weren’t nearly as close.
We saw the usual suspects like Ouachita hammer No. 28 New Iberia, 14-4, coasting off of doubles from Abby Allen and Madelyn Fletcher and a homer by Kendyl Patton. In total, Ouachita had 16 hits in the lopsided opening round victory.
And speaking of lopsided wins, No. 1 seed Ouachita Christian wasted little time beating No. 16 Houma Christian, 12-0. Sarah Tilmon and Carlye Rothschild went yard for the Lady Eagles in the statement win last Friday.
Now that I think about it, it was quite a bit of gorilla ball going on in our backyard in the opening round. In West Ouachita’s 9-1 victory against Rayne, Abbi Wallace, Jayce Currie and Ashlyn Roach each homered.
West Ouachita’s rival, No. 13 Neville, got in on the fun too. A three-hit performance from Lela Hansen and a 3-run homer by Amanda Shelby highlighted a 10-4 Neville victory against No. 20 Assumption.
And though West Monroe only put up six runs in the Lady Rebels’ 6-1 opening round victory, the No. 13 seed collected 10 hits and three-hit performances from Logan Dalfiume and Maddie Hayden and a homer from Ashley Pearson to another impressive victory.
In total, NELA displayed its softball prowess in the most exciting ways last week, and as we go deeper into the playoffs, we can only hope these teams can keep up that offensive production.