Hahnville finishes unbeaten in District 7-5A, hits road for opening round of playoffs today

Jenna Cancienne and Coach Todd Schulz of Hahnville.

Hahnville endured a bit of a bumpy landing to finish the regular season, but the Lady Tigers nonetheless are returning to the playoffs – and for the 16th straight year, doing so as a district champion.

The Tigers went unbeaten in District 7-5A this season, sealing that honor officially with a 14-4 win over Terrebonne to end March.  

HHS went 1-3 over its final four games, each non-district, with a 9-7 win over Ponchatoula and losses to Walker, 6-4, Mt. Carmel, 13-3 and Pineville, 16-7.  

That left Hahnville (18-14) at the No. 17 seed when the Division I non-select playoff brackets were announced, the Lady Tigers on the road in round one today (Friday, April 12) at 5 p.m. at Airlinw (17-14).

A traditional softball power like Hahnville figures to represent something of an uncomfortable draw.

“I don’t think we’re a typical (lower seed),” said Schulz. “We’ve slipped up and lost some games we shouldn’t have lost. Can’t go back and replay them – it is what it is. But you’ve got your home game and now you’ve got Hahnville coming in … I mean, I wouldn’t want (to be in that position.”

At the same time, Schulz said while the ultimate goal is still in reach, the team was pushing to reach the top 16 and to notch a 20-win season. The second of those goals is still possible for the Tigers, but it will have to coincide with the playoff run the team is hoping to kick-start this week.

“We’re not where we want to be … we lost a few games we shouldn’t have lost that kept us out of the top 16,” Schulz said. “But you can’t go back and change it, only look forward and play the hand you’re dealt.”

The brackets were to be announced Wednesday after press time, but it was known the Tigers will play their opening round game on the road by Saturday, the deadline for all first round games to be completed.  

“We’ve played well at times and we’ve played bad at times,” Schulz said. “But in this division, I think anyone in the top 20 can pull an upset or two and make that run to Sulphur. It’s just how this division is.”

While HHS did drop 3 of 4 to end the regular season, the one win was a monster – and showed the potential Hahnville can reach as the playoffs start. The Tigers captured a 9-7, 11-inning win over Ponchatoula, which is the No. 4 team in Division I non-select power point rankings. Four different HHS players slugged home runs: Adeline  Bertrand, Amberly Dempster, Emma Jackson and Brazzi Jacob.

“We knew we needed to hit the ball,” said Schulz.

Bertrand was 2-for-6 with three RBIs and a run scored. Dempster was 3-for-5 with a run scored and a RBI. Jackson was 1-for-4 with three RBIs and two runs scored. Jacob was 1-for-4 with two RBIs.  

Kloe White struck out 12 on the mound on the way to victory. She allowed five earned runs on 11 hits. She went the full 11 innings for the complete game.  

“Kloe pitched a tremendous game,” said Schulz. “She was just on.12 strikeouts and just four walks and going the full distance. She had a stellar night for us.”
In the 6-4, eight-inning loss to Walker, Bertrand was 1-for-3 with a run scored and RBI.  

Brianna Keller was 1-for-3 with two RBIs.  

White, Jenna Cancienne and Emersen Tregre combined to pitch the eight innings for the Tigers.  

“Walker’s always a scrappy team and they don’t give you anything easy,” Schulz said. “We beat them earlier this season and I think they carried that with them a little bit here.”

Schulz said the biggest key for his team as the playoffs begin is to tighten up its defense for what HHS hopes is the next several games.

“We pitch really well, we hit really well and then we’ll have that one bad inning that we don’t recover from. We have the staff and the lineup to get it done,” Schulz said. “We have to play solid defense.

“We’ll be well-rested, our last game was on Saturday. We’ve had a very good week of practice so far, staying in our routine and keeping our minds right.”

Bertrand is starting to hit the ball especially well of late, heating up at the right time of year.

“I can’t say she was in a slump, because she’s only struck out four or five times this year,” Schulz said. “But now she’s getting those timely hits, some really big hits for us … this lineup is just hard to pitch to.” 

 

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