Hahnville bests Destrehan in pitcher’s duel

Hahnville's Hailey Beard delivers a pitch against Destrehan.

Though District 7-5A will only see its teams play one another for one round of action this softball season, the Hahnville and Destrehan programs were in agreement that they’d keep the inter-parish rivalry at two games anyway.

A hotly-contested game Thursday illustrated why.

The Tigers outlasted the Wildcats 2-1 at DHS, with starter Hailey Beard earning the win on the mound in a pitcher’s duel with Destrehan’s Tyler Oubre.

“It was a battle all way through,” said Hahnville coach Jerry Nugent. It’s what Hahnville-Destrehan is supposed to be, a great rivalry game. You kinda had all the elements and the excitement of that today.”

Beard went seven innings and allowed three hits and one earned run. She struck out four and walked five. Oubre allowed two earned runs on five hits, striking out seven and walking six.

The game was a non-district contest, with the rematch in official district play set for April 2 at Hahnville.
Beard and the Tigers (5-2) had to regroup after Emma Rome gave the Wildcats (2-7) new life in the bottom of the seventh, cutting Hahnville’s lead to 2-1 on her solo home run to centerfield.

The one out blast brought the DHS dugout to life and meant Beard would have to face Destrehan’s dangerous leadoff hitter Gia Zeringue before the game was through. But she was able to record a strikeout before getting Zeringue to line out, sealing the victory.

“It was either give up or keep fighting. I’ve learned to keep fighting, even if it gets rough, so I kept pitching,” said Beard. “I knew my teammates had my back.”

A running catch by Hahnville centerfielder Marissa Allemand despite a defensive miscommunication to start the inning also proved key, as it meant Rome’s blast was a one-run shot and not a game-tying one.
Hahnville took a 1-0 lead in the second inning on Kate Bruce’s RBI single. The lead grew to 2-0 in the fourth on Kathryn Smith’s RBI double.

Nugent said that the district was unanimous in a vote to go to one round of district play, but that he and Destrehan coach Kenneth Montz have agreed for years that if the league were to go to that format, they would continue the tradition of playing twice a year.

“Especially being a parish and school district rivalry, wanted to keep that excitement going,” Nugent said. “Both are very good programs and it benefits both teams to play this game second time. And that was evidenced today. It was a battle.”

Bruce led Hahnville at the plate, going 2-for-3 with an RBI. Rome was 2-for-3, including her solo home run, for Destrehan.

Nugent said it was also the type of tough win his team needed to put together, with just one of its five wins entering the day coming by more than a run.

“In some of our wins, we’ve been able to jump on people like people have expected us to do in years past, and that’s a good thing,” Nugent said. “But if you’re gonna go anywhere in 5A softball, ultimately, you have to know how to win one like this, where you’ve gotta scrape and fight and figure it out. I think a win like today will pay dividends down the line.”

Bruce led Hahnville at the plate, going 2-for-3 with an RBI. Rome was 2-for-3, including her solo home run, for Destrehan.

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