After winning their district with a perfect 5-0 record, the Hahnville Lady Tigers struggled against some of the state’s top competition at the Riverside Tournament.
Coach Kenneth Vial said that the first back-to-back losses by his squad this season were a result of his team’s relatively weak schedule over the past three weeks.
Before the Lady Tigers lost to both Vandebilt Catholic and Mount Carmel over the weekend, they were on a 23-game win streak.
"Outside of Destrehan, we had a run of games against less than average teams," Vial said. "That gave us a false sense of security. We learned that we can’t show up and win."
Hahnville managed only four hits in a 7-4 loss to Vandebilt on Saturday and fell behind 2-0 in the third inning. However, the Lady Tigers rebounded with four runs in the top of the seventh to take the lead.
Taylor Hogan was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to bring in Hahnville’s first run and Kaylyn Morales knocked a two-RBI double to left field to put the Lady Tigers on top 3-2.
Hogan scored the final run after stealing home.
Vandebilt tied the game in the bottom of the frame and won on a three-run home run.
Morales recorded two of Hahnville’s four hits to go along with two RBIs. Lauren Beadle suffered the loss after giving up 12 hits and seven earned runs in six innings. She struck out eight in the game.
In the following game against Mount Carmel Academy, the Hahnville offense never got going in a 1-0 loss. Hahnville again managed only four hits in the game and had two costly errors.
Beadle suffered the loss, but pitched a good game for the Lady Tigers. She allowed six hits while striking out four.
Vial said both of his team’s losses came against good teams that are well coached and playoff seasoned.
"We played well enough to win but our attention to detail and our lack of emotion led to our defeat," Vial said. "We played with no sense of urgency."
That urgency returned to the squad on Tuesday when they avenged Saturday’s loss to Mount Carmel with a 2-1 victory over MCA.
This time, Hahnville wasted little time getting on the board, scoring a run in the bottom of the first on a sacrifice fly by Megan Bush.
MCA tied the game in the second, but Hahnville took the lead for good on a second sacrifice fly by Bush.
In the win, the Lady Tigers more closely resembled the squad that cruised through the season and destroyed most of their district competition.
But while Vial said he and his squad are always happy to win district, the season’s first goal is to get into the playoffs. The Lady Tigers are currently ranked No. 1 in the state and have an impressive 26-3 record. Most thought this would be a rebuilding year for Hahnville after they lost several of the starters who helped lead the team to three-straight state championship games.
"We are very happy and aware of what we have done. That we have overachieved would be a good way to describe it," Vial said. "But we have a new identity and I think we refocused at practice Monday and are ready to make a run. They were very honest with themselves and recognized our shortcomings that surfaced last weekend.
"We have made strides to correct the things that happened to us."
Hahnville faced off against Destrehan for their final regular season game on Wednesday. The game occurred after the Herald-Guide’s press deadline, but check www.heraldguide.com for game details on Thursday.
|Hahnville slugger Bryce Button jacks a shot to deep center.|