Destrehan Wildcats challenged early in softball competition

Gia Zeringue
Gia Zeringue of Destrehan has led her team in hitting early this season.

After winning 21 games last season and hosting a first round playoff game, Destrehan is eying taking another step forward this season.

The Wildcats are a talented team but a very young one; DHS starts five freshmen players, including first-year pitcher Tyler Oubre, to go with returning veterans Sarah Boquet, Gia Zeringue, Lainnie Dugas and Kaela Schiro.

Through three games, the team has been challenged by strong competition, earning a win over Mandeville while dropping games to St. Amant and East Ascension, all of which boast quality programs.

The team’s 3-1 win over Mandeville, Destrehan coach Kenny Montz said, is particularly something his team can use as a stepping stone, with the Skippers bringing nine starters back after a strong season in 2017.

“We haven’t ducked anyone,” Montz said. “East Ascension is always quality. Mandeville has six Division I prospects and St. Amant is always a force and always in the tournament.

“We played really well against Mandeville and we’re really excited to get that win over a really quality opponent.”

Destrehan scored their first victory of the season at Mandeville last week, taking a 3-1 win after falling behind by a run in the first inning.

Tyler Oubre pitched the complete game to earn the win for Destrehan (1-2), allowing one unearned run on five hits. She struck out two and walked two.

It was the first varsity win for Oubre, a freshman.

“She’s going to be a really good pitcher for us over the next four years,” Montz said. “The array of pitches she throws sets her apart. Sometimes, she will be a little inconsistent, and that comes with youth. But she has all the tools and the makeup to be a top pitcher in the state before it’s all said and done.”

Gia Zeringue went 1-for-2 with a run scored and RBI. Sarah Boquet went 1-for-3 with a triple, RBI and run scored.

The Wildcats lost their season opener after East Ascension rallied from a 4-0 deficit to take a 6-4 win.

Boquet earned two hits and an RBI and Zeringue drove in two runs to lead Destrehan offensively. Both had doubles in the game.

Oubre took the loss, allowing four earned runs (six total) on nine hits. Erin Nicol went the complete game to earn the win for East Ascension.

A four run fifth inning for the Spartans gave them the lead for good.

“We kind of let our bats die after we scored the four runs early,” Montz said. “That and a couple of mistakes we made later on let them chip away at us.”

Montz said the team is finding ways to blend its younger players in with its quartet of veterans, who helped lead DHS to its first win over Hahnville in nearly a decade last season.

“We know they can all swing the bat very well,” Montz said. “We’ve moved some people into the infield to strengthen us there and I feel really good about what we have defensively there. We’re very athletic in the infield and that’s where we have three of our four upperclassmen.”

Destrehan opens district play Thursday at home against Terrebonne. Then, this weekend, DHS travels to Hahnville for the Tigers’ annual softball tournament. Destrehan will play Chapelle at 6 p.m. Friday, Beau Chene at 12:45 Saturday and against Dominican at 6:45 Saturday night.

While Montz would naturally love to win all those games, he said the priority is overall improvement.

“It’s not just about the outcome, but getting better as a team and doing things the right way,” he said.

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