Perfection personified:

Lady Tigers defeat St. Amant 6-5 to go 10-0, Destrehan knocks off East St. John

Special to the Herald-Guide
April 15, 2009 at 12:17 pm  | Mobile Reader | Pring this storyPrint 

Elise deBruler slides into second.
Photo by Joe Halm
Elise deBruler slides into second.
Going into Tuesday's district finale against St. Amant, the Lady Tigers already had the 6-5A title wrapped up but were still playing for a perfect 10-0 mark against district foes.

Knowing that the 6-5A title was in hand, head coach Kenneth Vial gave starter Lauren Candies the day off and decided to get freshman Hannah Haydel some big game experience before the playoffs start next week. The move worked perfectly.

Haydel got the complete game victory while the Lady Tigers defeated St. Amant 6-5 to secure a perfect district record.

"When you look at the competition in this district and the coaching, it is just so hard to believe that anybody could go undefeated. I'll wake up from this dream," Vial said smiling.

While the season has been a dream thus far, the Lady Tigers had to battle against the Lady Gators tooth and nail in a game that came down to the final out.

Hahnville (25-5-2, 10-0 6-5A) allowed two unearned runs early as the Lady Gators scored in the first and third innings to take a 2-0 lead, but the Lady Tiger offense would come alive in the fourth.

Freshman Courtney Dutreix led off with a double and sophomore Elise Debruler drove her in with an RBI single. Debruler later scored from third base on sophomore Taylor Webre's single to tie the score at two.

After a 1-2-3 top of the fifth, the Lady Tigers posted four runs in the bottom of the inning. Freshman Summer Melancon started the rally with a one out single followed by a bunt hit by senior Jessica Cancienne. Dutreix walked to load the bases for Debruler.

The young third baseman belted the first pitch she saw deep to left field clearing the fence by inches for the first grand slam of her career. It also gave her five RBIs for the game.

Haydel cruised in the sixth, but the seventh was a different story for the just turned 15-year-old freshman.

After walking two of the first three hitters, the Lady Gators scored two runs on a triple down the right field line and pulled to within one run with an RBI double. With the tying run at second, Melancon fielded a hot shot at short and threw over to first for the win and a perfect district mark.

Haydel allowed six hits and struck out six as well. She gave up five runs, two of which were unearned, and she gained a mound of experience, Vial said.

"She is going to win a lot of games here. I had an opportunity today to take her and put her in a high intensity game against a great softball team at home in front of a big crowd," Vial said, adding that it took him four days and the team's blessing to make the pitching move.

The Lady Tigers, who have been without senior Jia Bridges for two weeks due to an illness, will find out tomorrow who will be their opening round opponent. That game is scheduled for Tuesday at Hahnville.

"We're excited to be in it after sitting at home last year. It is exciting to play a playoff game at home. We have been pretty good here this season," Vial said.

Last week, the Lady Tigers notched district wins against Dutchtown (2-1) and East St. John (15-0) before defeating Live Oak 3-0 at home Saturday.

Destrehan Softball

The Lady Wildcats earned their second 6-5A softball victory last week with a 16-4 road rout of East St. John.

Senior Desiree Harvey led Destrehan offensively with a grand slam while pitching four shutout innings. With a 10-0 lead heading into the bottom of the fifth, head coach Jacob Thompson emptied his bench, and the home team scored a few runs to extend the game before the Lady Wildcat offense ignited again.

"They were very focused against East St. John. We played a good game, and it was good to get a win back in our system," Thompson said.

The confidence showed last Thursday as the Lady Wildcats battled a tough East Ascension team to a 1-0 road loss.

While Destrehan struck out a dozen times, the Lady Wildcats were able to manufacture a few scoring opportunities only to see those chances fall short. The game's only run was the product of an early inning walk that scored on a line shot to the right-center field gap.

"The girls played a great game, a game that I knew they were capable of playing," Thompson said."

Destrehan (8-17, 2-7, 6-5A) finished out its season Tuesday on the road against Dutchtown, who needed a win to have any hope of making the playoffs as a wild card.

"They definitely have more to play for than us but our kids are definitely looking forward to playing the spoiler role," Thompson said.

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