While Hahnville and Destrehan won’t meet for their official District 7-5A showdown until later this season, the softball archrivals squared off on Tuesday for power points and bragging rights.
And on this day, the Lady Tigers made quite the statement.
Hahnville scored five runs in the first inning to seize control for good against the 2019 quarterfinalist Wildcats, eventually sealing a 9-1 victory in Boutte to move to 5-1.
“Anytime these two teams take the field, it could be field hockey, ping pong … it’s gonna bring out the best in both teams,” said Hahnville head coach Jerry Nugent. “It was a hard fought battle and we were able to get some early momentum which spelled the difference.”
Kate Bruce’s three-run home run was the biggest blow in the opening frame, putting Hahnville ahead 5-0 after RBIs by Montana Smith and Lauren Crochet.
“The first pitch I saw was a good one, (but she laid off) … I knew I had to get on top of the riseball. We all know she has a riseball,” said Bruce. “On the next pitch I saw it coming, kept my hands on it, just swung and it went over. I was so excited.”
Four Tigers earned two hits against Destrehan starter Tyler Oubre, including Sara Roussel (two runs, double), Montana Smith (two runs, RBI), Kathryn Smith (two runs, two walks) and Crochet (two RBIs, run scored).
“It’s a big rivalry. We knew we had to beat (Oubre), so we worked hard on our plan at practice,” said Kathryn Smith, who blasted four home runs at the Denham Springs tournament over the weekend. “We worked on our at bats and didn’t want to chase anything bad … as soon as we got out ahead, we knew we were in good shape.”
Oubre (2-for-3, run scored) and Chelsea Franck earned the lone hits against the Tigers’ pitching tandem of Laney Waguespack (4.0 innings, two hits, earned run, six strikeouts, two walks) and MacKenzie Klibert (2 innings, hit, six strikeouts), with Waguespack earning the win.
For Oubre, it was a rare off day – the sophomore led Destrehan to its first ever softball quarterfinal last season, allowing just one run over three 5A playoff games. Hahnville posted nine runs, six of them earned, on 10 hits and two walks. Oubre struck out seven.
“You go in knowing you have to maximize your opportunities when she’s in the circle. She’s that good a pitcher,” Nugent said. “We respect her game greatly. You’re not gonna get many chances, so when you do you have to take advantage.”
Hahnville added two runs in the second inning to jump ahead 7-0. Roussel doubled and Makenna Cortez singled the former home, then Kathryn Smith drew a walk before a Crochet RBI single.
Destrehan (3-2) scored in the fourth after Oubre, Chelsie Franck and Marrissa Lopez reached before T’Auna Fenroy forced home a run on a based loaded walk. Hahnville added two runs in the bottom half to answer via an RBI single by Crochet and an error.