Hahnville’s senior players knew Monday’s playoff matchup against visiting Ouachita could be the last home game of their career, and they wanted to make an impression.
Laney Waguespack led the charge.
Waguespack went 4-for-4 at the plate with a home run and five RBIs and earned the win on the mound as Hahnville captured a first round Class 5A playoff win, taking the game 11-1 in five innings. The game was called in the fifth via the 10-run rule.
She pitched four innings, allowing one run on two hits while striking out six and walking two. Mackenzie Kliebert struck out three batters in a scoreless final inning in relief.
“Laney was lights out,” said Hahnville head softball coach Todd Schulz. “She was dealing in the circle and she had a career game at the plate … I think the mentality for all of our seniors, at least in the back of their mind, was that this could be their last home game here at Hahnville. And for Laney, she really wanted to go out with a bang and that’s what she did. All of them played really well.”
Hahnville (22-10) also saw strong efforts from Sara Roussel (2-for-4, four runs, RBI), Adeline Bertrand (1-for-3, three runs, two RBIs), Lauren Crochet (2-for-3, RBI) and Katie Ortego (1-for-2, two RBIs). Kate Bruce doubled while Bertrand and Roussel each tripled in the game.
No. 10 HHS will travel in round two to face No. 7 Live Oak, with first pitch set for 6 p.m. on Thursday. Live Oak defeated Fontainebleau 10-0 in the first round to advance.
Monday marked the seventh win in a row for the Lady Tigers, who are also 14-2 over their past 16 games.
The Tigers took a 3-0 lead in the first inning on Ortego’s three RBI single with bases loaded.
That lead grew to 5-0 in the second inning on a Bertrand triple, then Waguespack added to the total with her own RBI single – that may have energized her, as she returned to the mound to strike out all three batters in the ensuing inning.
Ouachita (15-16) scratched across its first run in the fourth inning, but Hahnville answered via the day’s lone home run – Waguespack drilled a pitch out of the park, scoring Roussel and Bertrand to make it 9-1. Roussel and Waguespack added RBIs in the next inning to end the game early.
This senior class of Tigers has a clear goal on their minds. Two more wins will punch their ticket to Sulphur for the state softball tournament, which would be a first-time accomplishment for the group. Two years ago, a strong season was cut short by COVID-19, and last season the Tigers fell in round two.
“This is a special group,” Schulz said. “We have eight seniors, and they’re not ready to stop playing. It’s exciting to be around them – their energy is through the roof at times.
“When you have the talent we have, and everyone kind of understands their role … when their name is called, they go up and get it done.”
After wrapping up the District 7-5A championship at the close of March, Hahnville closed the regular season with a trio of wins over traditionally powerful programs – Mount Carmel, Mandeville and Chapelle.
“We had one scheduled against Barbe too, and I was disappointed we couldn’t get that in – our schedules just didn’t coincide,” said Schulz. “It’s good to have those kinds of games at the end of the season. Those get you ready to make a playoff run, let you see what you’ve got. And all three of those teams gave us really good games … I’m anxious to see how far they each go as well.”