The Hahnville Lady Tigers are scorching their program’s record book.
HHS extended its winning streak to 21 this week, earning the chance to overtake the program’s previous longest winning streak of 22 games. Through 23 games, Hahnville has already broken team records for runs scored in a season and home runs in a season — the Tigers have averaged a touch over one home run a game, with 25 round-trippers in their first 23 contests.
This was a team that began the season with two close losses. The Tigers have been untouchable since, defeating a slate of teams heavily featuring Louisiana’s best teams and most storied programs. It’s led Hahnville to not only be ranked first in the state, but as high as a top three team in the country: MaxPreps.com had Hahnville ranked as the third best team in the country, regardless of classification, as of Tuesday.
“It’s always nice to get recognition. It’s a testament to how hard our players have worked, not just this year but the past few years,” said Hahnville coach Jerry Nugent. “They’re playing with a lot of poise. But sometimes when you receive recognition you become content, and we still have unfinished business. Our goal is to be the last team standing when the season ends.”
Nugent said he and his team have talked about the importance of staying hungry for success in the face of the positive attention the team has been garnering. To that end, the players have seemingly taken that advice and thrived.
“They’ve been really impressive and shown a lot of maturity,” Nugent said. “We went from hunting teams to being hunted by them. They’re confident in their ability, but they also realize they have to keep working hard.”
The longer Hahnville holds onto the top spot in Louisiana and a national rank, and the longer the team’s winning streak extends, the harder opposing teams will play to upend the Tigers.
“Regardless of who you’re playing now, you’re everyone’s Super Bowl,” Nugent said. “Everyone wants a shot to knock off No. 1 and to end the streak. The difference between a good team and a great team is the ability to handle that pressure. And having a team full of juniors and seniors, who have been through a ton of battles, really helps in that regard.”
This season has seen several stellar marks both offensively and on the mound. Hahnville bats .380 as a team, led by Baudouin’s .532 batting mark to go with eight home runs, 41 RBIs and 41 runs scored. Keller is batting .494 with 34 RBIs. Allemand bats .429 and has hit five home runs. Duplay is just under the .400 mark with a .392 average. She has scored 39 runs.
Hahnville’s team batting average, on-base percentage (.450), and slugging percentage (.629) were all on pace to be team records when the week began.
The streak was in jeopardy in tournament play last weekend at the North-South Invitational. West Ouachita held a 1-0 lead on Saturday as Hahnville came to bat in the bottom of the sixth inning.
The Tigers’ season long power surge continued, though, and it made all the difference. Bayleigh Baudouin and Kamryn Keller hit back-to-back solo home runs to lead off the inning and lift their team to a 2-1 victory.
Karly Taranto sealed the deal in the seventh, finishing with the win on a night she pitched a complete game one-hitter.
Hahnville also defeated Airline 17-5 and Ruston 13-6 at the tourney.
Danielle Duplay went 3-for-5 with two RBIs and three runs scored against Airline. Marissa Allemand went 4-for-4 with six RBIs and two runs scored. Catherine Friloux went 3-for-4 with four RBIs and two runs scored. Sarah Van Etta, Baudouin, Courtney Ortego and Keller each earned at least two hits in the game as Hahnville posted 21 as a team.
In the win over Ruston, Ortego (2-for-4) drove in three runs while Keller (2-for-4) and Friloux (2-for-4) each drove in two. Taranto earned wins in each game to finish the tourney 3-0.
On the season, Taranto is 20-2 with a 1.30 ERA.
On Thursday, Hahnville returns to action at home against Thibodaux. It will be Hahnville’s annual “Pink Game” to raise money for breast cancer research.
At the game, the Tigers will honor cancer survivors close to the program. The team will also posthumously honor Darrin Beadle, who passed away last summer and was the father of former HHS pitcher Lauren Beadle.