In Todd Schulz’s first season as head coach of the Hahnville Tigers, he’s had to shuffle the lineup a bit more than he expected – injuries and illnesses have left few chances for the team to be at full strength thus far this year.
But the Lady Tigers seem to have gained their footing once again after a 3-5 start. Hahnville has won five of its past six games to move to 8-6 on the season, including a 5-2 road victory over defending Division II state champion Hannan Tuesday night.
“We’re finally starting to put things together, get healthy and back on track,” said Schulz, who took the program’s helm following former HHS coach Jerry Nugent’s move to full-time school administration. “We knew Hannan would be a tough game. Tristyn Baugh is on the mound for them and she’s very tough. She threw really well … we had some really good, competitive at-bats, and on our end, Laney (Waguespack) pitched really well. She didn’t give up many hits.”
Waguespack earned the win for the Tigers, going the complete game for seven innings and allowing two runs on six hits, striking out four. She and her teammates won a battle against a strong pitcher in Hannan’s Baugh, last year’s D-II championship game starter, who allowed five runs on 11 hits and struck out four in the game.
Avery Edgar, Adeline Bertrand and Brazzi Jacob each had two hits for Hahnville. Jacob and Edgar each drove in a pair of runs. Waguespack helped her own cause with an RBI of her own. Lauren Crochet, Bertrand, Jacob and Katie Ortego each scored runs for the Tigers.
Hahnville struck early to take control of the game, with a Jacob RBI double and Edgar RBI single plating the day’s first two runs in the second inning.
Waguespack’s sacrifice fly and a Jacob RBI single pushed the lead to 4-0 in the fourth inning, and Hahnville never looked back.
The victory over Hannan was the latest of a series of victories over perennial state tournament qualifiers – HHS has bested Doyle, Belle Chasse, Vandebilt Catholic and Dutchtown over the past two weeks, with its lone loss in that stretch coming to John Curtis.
Hahnville began the year missing five starters due to quarantine, then further injuries and illnesses cost various players time from there.
“It’s been a roller-coaster year,” said Schulz. “I joke with them that it’s like trying to put together a puzzle, and then my little boy comes in and kicks the table and it falls and you have to start all over.”
With five starters back from last year’s team, this is an experienced group that’s already won plenty of games.
“We’re inexperienced at a few spots, but we’ve had young players step up,” said Schulz. Adeline Bertrand and Brazzi Jacob, those are a sophomore and freshman starting third base and first base for us, and they’ve done a really good job for us.”
Edgar has swung a hot bat, including a recent three-game stretch where she piled up three home runs and three doubles.
Waguespack and MacKenzie Kliebert have also continued their strong pitching from a year ago.
“There’s not many teams fortunate to have a staff like we do, where we always have someone warmed up and ready to go if needed,” Schulz said. “Laney’s pitching extremely well and we’ve gotten very good innings, strong starts out of Mac.”