The Lady Tigers came within six inches from winning their second-straight state championship when Alexandra Friloux was thrown out at the plate in the bottom of the eighth inning.
Before that play, Hahnville and Sam Houston were locked in a pitcherís duel with the game tied at 1-1. With Friloux on third, Courtney Dutreix sent a fly ball to centerfield that appeared deep enough to score Friloux.
Friloux took off after the ball was caught by Sam Houston centerfielder Brooke Rozas, but Rozas made a perfect throw home and Friloux was tagged out.
Rozas scored an inning later to give Sam Houston a 2-1 victory.
"They had to make a perfect play and they did," Hahnville head coach Kenneth Vial said. "Anything less than a perfect throw and we would have been state champs."
Though Sam Houston took a 2-1 lead into the bottom of the ninth, Hahnville almost pulled off a thrilling win. Summer Melancon led off the frame with a single to left and Hope Mair followed with a single of her own to give the Lady Tigers two runners on with no outs.
Both advanced on a fly out by Amye Barre, but Megan Bush fouled out and Lauren Simar took a called third strike to end the game.
"It was set up for us to win and we didnít accomplish what we needed to do," Vial said. "We didnít fail, but (Sam Houston) succeeded."
And the squad took the loss hard.
"To go back this year and not win again is the most empty feeling," Vial said. "They are not over this. Yesterday (Monday) we did some things on the field and it was a sorrowful day."
Still, Vial said his squad has nothing to hang their heads about. The teamís six senior starters compiled a 123-18 record in four years that included three state championship game appearances and a state title. That will serve as the foundation for continued success at Hahnville, Vial said.
"They gave an extraordinary effort in the championship, which is just what I expect from them," he said. "This is a senior-led team and the senior class has been unbelievable in every way, shape and form."
Though the seniors are talented, Vial said thatís not the only reason for their success on the field.
"It goes much deeper than that," he said. "They have a will to win and they do everything the right way. They donít take shortcuts."
Vial hopes that attitude rubs off on the younger members of Hahnvilleís team. He has been working with upcoming freshmen since September and said that this summer the teamís six seniors will work out with the younger kids during the summer.
"That way we can integrate the younger kids with the seniors that have had so much success," Vial said. "We have players that have sat on the side for two years that are pretty good.
"We arenít going to change anything. We are still going to play the same teams we played and we are going to make a run at Sulphur next year."
|Team members are: Alexandra Friloux, Allison Folse, Amye Barre, Brittney Perilloux, Bryce Button, Caitlyn Robinson, Courtney Dutreix, Hannah Haydel, Hope Mair, Kaylyn Morales, Laney Cancienne, Lauren Beadle, Lauren Simar, Leighanna Rasco, Megan Bush, Payt|