Softball brackets released today, Tigers enter playoffs as a favorite
The Hahnville Tigers entered this season with a list of four primary goals to accomplish, and as the brackets for the state softball playoffs are released today (April 11), its players will enter the fray with two goals down and two to go.
The Tigers (29-3, 12-0) took aim at going unbeaten in District 7-5A, earning a top four seed, securing a spot in the state softball tournament in Sulphur and then taking home a state championship. Hahnville wrapped up an unbeaten district championship with decisive wins over Destrehan and Terrebonne and is all but certain to have a top four seed when the 5A bracket is announced.
The next phase is getting to Sulphur, and the Tigers are two wins away from doing just that.
“It’s always an interesting day for coaches,” Nugent said of the bracket release. “We know where we’ll be in this first round, but getting those details squared away as to when the game will be, what time, getting umpires … you want to get that done as soon as possible so you can focus on playing ball the way we know we can.
“As for our players, I think they’re just excited to get started. They want to know who we’re going to play.”
Whoever Hahnville will draw has a daunting challenge ahead of it. Hahnville has established itself as a nationally-ranked power this season and has set numerous team records, including the longest win streak in school history.
On the mound, Karly Taranto has been strong all year, outdueling several of the state’s top pitchers. Defensively, the Tigers have been airtight.
And this is the most complete offensive lineup the veteran coach Nugent has overseen, he says.
“We’ve been able to put pressure on defenses, draw walks, move runners over, and so when the hits come they’re much more impactful,” Nugent said. “The one nuance this team has that sets it apart is their approach to hitting. They understand the mental side of it. Lots of kids can hit, but knowing how to hit in different situations, knowing who’s on base, what to look for early or late in the count … we teach it and practice it here and they’ve done an exceptional job of learning those things over the past few years.”
Hahnville generated six extra base hits and 17 hits overall, while Karly Taranto pitched a shutout in the Tigers’ 14-0 victory over rival Destrehan last Thursday to officially secure the District 7-5A championship.
The win over Destrehan was the Tigers’ second this season as HHS earned a sweep. The victory was also the 100th for head coach Jerry Nugent in his Hahnville tenure.
Taranto allowed just two hits in the five-inning game, which ended early due to the 10-run rule. She struck out six and walked two.
Hahnville’s Kamryn Keller was 4-for-4 with two RBIs. Danielle Duplay went 2-for-3 with two runs scored and an RBI. Courtney Ortego went 3-for-4 with three runs scored and two RBIs. Catherine Friloux went 3-for-4 with three RBIS and two runs scored and Sarah VanEtta was 2-for-3 with three RBIs and a run scored.
Ortego hit a home run to add to Hahnville’s school record total of round-trippers this season, while Duplay, Ortego and Keller each doubled. Van Etta hit a double and triple.
Kaela Schiro and Lainnie Dugas collected Destrehan’s lone hits.
Offensively, Hahnville found its groove early and never let up, scoring six runs in the first inning. RBI singles by Keller and Friloux pushed Hahnville ahead 2-0. Taranto hit a sacrifice fly before VanEtta tripled home two more runs to make it 5-0. Duplay then doubled home the sixth run of the inning as Hahnville batted around.
Destrehan (20-9, 9-3) had won three straight games and five of its last six entering the game.
Nugent deflected personal praise for his 100th win in favor of the players and coaches he’s had alongside him over the years.
“It’s not about me. It doesn’t come without talented players and amazing assistant coaches who gave so much of themselves to our game,” Nugent said. “The 2018 Tigers are special.”
On Monday, Hahnville wrapped up its unbeaten district season with a 15-0 win over Terrebonne, finishing things off in three innings by the 15 run rule.
Kamryn Keller went 2-for-3 with four RBIs. Danielle Duplay went 2-for-2 with two runs scored and an RBI. Marissa Allemand went 2-for-2 with two runs scored and two RBIs and Sarah VanEtta was 1-for-02 with two runs scored and two RBIs.