Hahnville knew it needed to turn back archrival Destrehan, winners of 11 straight games, if it hoped to capture an outright claim to the District 7-5A championship. The Tigers did just that Tuesday. Karly Taranto struck out 9 and Bayleigh Baudouin drove in three runs to lead Hahnville (22-6-1, 9-0) to a 9-1 victory at home over the visiting Wildcats (18-8, 8-2), setting the Tigers up as heavy favorites to win the district. HHS is unbeaten in district play with two games left to play. It was Hahnville’s second loss to Destrehan this season.
“I think we had a solid all-around game, which is what you always need,” Hahnville coach Jerry Nugent said. “These games can go either way … all of these girls been playing against each other since they were 5 and 6 years old. You can’t take anything for granted. We knew they were playing very well and we knew to win the district, we had to beat them.”
Hahnville took advantage of three Wildcats errors in the first inning to push three runs across the board and seize early control of the action.
“It was important for us to get a good jump,” said Tigers centerfielder Pryscilla Prince. “It gave our team a lot of confidence and that carried throughout the whole game. I felt like we consistently stayed positive, kept putting runs on and had good at-bats throughout the day.”
Destrehan was in position to make their own early impact with runners on second and third in the first inning, but Taranto struck out the next two batters to get out of the inning.
“I thought it was really big for us … us getting out of it,” Nugent said. “No matter what happens in a game, you’ve gotta be able to play through it. The ball’s not always gonna fall your way, the other team’s gonna make plays, and it’s not about whether or not you can prevent that but how you react when it happens.”
The first three Tiger runs represented the only runs of the day until the fourth inning, when Marissa Allemand got Hahnville going with a one-out single. Sarah VanEtta followed up with a double to put runners on second and third for Baudouin, who socked a two-RBI triple to make it 5-1.
Destrehan fired back in their half of the fourth on Gia Zeringue’s towering solo home run to left field. But Hahnville had found its offensive groove. Kamryn Keller drew a walk to lead off the fifth and Maddison LeBlanc singled to make it 6-1. In the sixth, Danielle Duplay’s bunt single set the table for Baudouin, who doubled her home to make it 7-1. Prince’s RBI single made it 8-1, then Jourdyn Hogan rounded out the scoring with an RBI single of her own.
“We were prepared from start,” Prince said. “We knew they might get ahead, but I felt like we kept our cool and we stayed confident the whole game.”
Taranto earned the win on a complete game effort, allowing four hits and walking two. Carla Beck took the loss for Destrehan.
Baudouin finished the game 2-for-4 at the plate. LeBlanc went 2-for-4.
For Destrehan, Zeringue, Sarah Boquet, Lainnie Dugas and Carla Beck represented the Wildcats’ four hits.