Moments after one of the most dominating pitching performances in her life, sophomore Tyler Oubre still seemed to be taking in what she and her Destrehan teammates had just accomplished. Likewise, freshman T’Auna Fenroy beamed following the most clutch moment of her young prep softball career.
The Wildcats made school history together.
For the first time in the history of the Destrehan softball program, it has advanced to the Class 5A state quarterfinals after earning a 1-0 win in 13 innings over visiting Northshore Tuesday.The Wildcats pulled an upset at home over the No. 7 seed in Class 5A, days after upending 10th seeded Mandeville.
Destrehan will travel Saturday to face No. 2 seeded Airline in the quarterfinal round. First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m.
Fenroy dropped a bloop RBI single with the bases loaded in the bottom of the 13th inning to score Oubre and cement the walk-off victory.
It sent the Destrehan dugout racing onto the field to celebrate and capped off a marathon game highlighted by a pitchers’ duel for the ages between Oubre and Northshore’s Montana Young, who combined to pitch 25.1 innings and strikeout 30 batters between them.
“It’s never happened before,” said Oubre of the quarterfinal berth. “I’m just so honored to be part of the team that has this privilege.”
She allowed four hits over her 13 inning complete game performance, striking out 15 and walking three. Oubre also ignited Destrehan (16-16) in the bottom of the 13th inning with her bat, hitting a single then advancing to second on a wild pitch. Chelsea Franck laid down a sacrifice bunt to move Oubre to third with one out. Northshore intentionally walked Brianna Dominguez and Emma Rome to load the bases and create a force out situation at home.
That brought up Fenroy, the Wildcats’ nine-hole hitter, for the biggest at-bat of her career.
“I was really scared,” said Fenroy, who said she’d been in a slump and who went hitless in her previous four at-bats of the day. “Being a freshman, I’m so new to all of this …. being in the playoffs, it’s so much bigger than the regular season games. So getting that hit for my team felt really great.”
She said she knew the season was on the line.
“If we lose, that’s it, our season’s over. But I knew our team deserved this win. I told myself that and that we needed a hit,” Fenroy said.
It was one of very few hits for anyone on a day that began with Oubre and Young combining to strike out the game’s first five batters. They stacked 25 scoreless half innings between them before the winning run.
Oubre has now pitched 20 shutout innings through two rounds of the playoffs.
“Both of (Oubre and Young) had to have the same confidence throughout,” Oubre said. “The second you get down on yourself … we’re both very good teams and we’ll jump on the other the second you let it affect you. I kept my confidence high, knew I couldn’t get too confident, and kept it under control.”
When Fenroy’s hit dropped in, Oubre said it almost didn’t even register after she crossed home.
“I wasn’t even thinking … I felt like I was about to cry,” she said.
Both teams scattered a few chances to win earlier in the day. Destrehan loaded the bases with no outs in the bottom of the eighth when Oubre doubled, Chelsie Franck reached on a bunt and
Breanna Dominguez walked. But Young navigated through, inducing two pop ups and recording a strikeout. Northshore got a runner to second with less than two outs in the second, third, fourth and 12th innings, but Oubre and the DHS defense tightened.
While Destrehan carried more losses than wins into the playoffs against what was likely the toughest slate of games the program had ever scheduled, Destrehan coach Kenneth Montz maintained throughout his young team was improved from the squad from a season earlier that had set a program record for wins.
His players backed him up Monday.
“Don’t tell them they’re a 23rd seed,” Montz said. “They believe they’re a top eight seed. And to look at the teams we played all year, our record might not be great but we hung in with all those strong teams we played. So we believed we’re as good as anyone in the state.”
Indeed, they’re among the final eight teams remaining in Class 5A, and a victory away from a new milestone: a trip to Sulphur for the state softball tournament.