Destrehan’s thrilling postseason run came to an end Saturday afternoon, but not without a fight.
The No. 23 seeded Wildcats fell at No. 2 Airline, 1-0, in the Class 5A quarterfinals. Airline advances to the state softball tournament in Sulphur, the Vikings moving onto the semifinal round.
It was the third consecutive 1-0 score for Destrehan in the playoffs, the previous two coming in upset wins over No. 10 Mandeville and No. 7. Covington.
“It was a hard-fought game,” said Destrehan Coach Kenneth Montz. “Two really good teams and two really good pitchers … they got that one big hit that counted.”
It was a pitchers’ duel between Destrehan’s Tyler Oubre and Airline’s Raelin Chaffin. The eventual winning run in Saturday’s game was the first allowed in the postseason for Oubre, a sophomore, while Chaffin, an LSU commitment, earned her own second shutout of the playoffs on Saturday.
Airline (27-3) scored in the bottom of the fourth inning, on Maddie Ennis’ solo home run to start the frame – the only run allowed by Destrehan in 26 innings of postseason play.
“And your season’s over,” Montz said. “One run and it’s over, almost unprecedented. But like I tell people all the time, that’s Class 5A. It is extremely, extremely difficult.”
Chaffin pitched a two-hitter en route to the win, striking out 11 and walking one. She retired the final 12 batters of the game in a row.
Oubre allowed five hits, struck out five and walked none in the complete game effort.
Alyssa Vicknair and Gia Zeringue collected the hits for the Wildcats (16-17) on a tough day against a very tough pitcher.
“(Chaffin) committed to LSU before she ever threw a pitch in high school,” Montz said. “There’s a reason why. She’s really, really good.”
It brings to an end a Destrehan season that saw the program reach the quarterfinal round for the first time in school history.
“I told them I was proud of them,” Montz said. “They hung in when they could have packed it in. It was an up and down season, we were in just about every game. But they never lost faith and kept believing in what we’re doing.”