Lady Tigers shake off slow start to season, finding groove against tough opposition

Hahnville began this season 2-4 but the Lady Tigers have shaken off that start to battle back to .500 at 8-8, doing so against a challenging early season schedule.

HHS swept two games at their home tournament, besting Covenant Christian and Chapelle, and added a win over Slidell for good measure as part of a season-high three game win streak. The Tigers have split their past four games since with wins over East St. John and Barbe and losses to Dutchtown and Walker, but Hahnville’s season seems headed upward given recent play.

Among the most exciting of those recent wins came at the HHS tourney as the Tigers earned victory in an absolute slugfest, 14-13 over a quality Chapelle team at the West Bank Bridge Park.
Jenna Cancienne’s walk-off double plated Brazzi Jacob for the winning run in the bottom of the seventh inning.

Leadoff hitter Sydnie Sirmon went 1-for-2 with two walks and three runs scored for Hahnville – Brianna Keller went 2-for-3 with an RBI and two runs scored. Brazzi Jacob was 3-for-4 with three RBIs and three runs scored. Karli Bourg went 2-for-3 with three runs scored and two walks and Amberly Dempster was 3-for-5 with two doubles, two RBIs and a run scored. Adeline Bertrand walked twice and collected two hits as well in the win. Crochet was 3-for-5 with an RBI and run scored.

“We have a handful of really scrappy kids right now,” said second-year HHS head coach Todd Schulz. “We have a few who are really seeing the ball well right now … we haven’t completely figured it out yet, 11 games in but we’re getting there.”

He liked what he saw against Chapelle, a team he expects to win plenty of games going forward.

So far, Jacob is leading the team in batting with a .486 average. Dempster comes in second with a .469 mark and Bourg adds her .416 average to the mix. Bertrand, a junior , has added a jolt as well in her first year, hitting .368.

A slow start was not a shocking occurrence, even given Hahnville’s standing as one of the state’s power programs; the team lost eight seniors from a year ago, including five players playing regularly for their teams at the collegiate level.

“They’re playing, not sitting (in college ball), so it gives you an idea of the kind of shoes we’ve had to fill,” Schulz said.

But he sees great potential in this group. While HHS indeed traded missiles with Chapelle at the offense-friendly bridge park environment, the team’s pitching has begun rounding into form if its last two wins are any indication: a 6-2 win over Covenant Christian to round out the HHS tournament and its 8-0 win over Slidell Monday.

Cancienne dominated against Slidell en route to a complete game, one-hit shutout performance. She struck out five and walked one in the win.

Kloe White was in the circle in the win over Covenant and pitched a gem of her own, striking out nine and allowing two runs on six hits in her complete game effort.

“I told them that if we pitch like we have the past couple of games, we have the potential to be a really good squad,” Schulz said. “We make our share of mistakes but we come right back to practice and correct those. We’re getting better every day.”

The Tigers have had positives in their most recent losses as well. Though St. Amant ultimately rolled to a 12-2 victory, HHS led early after Jacob hit a two-run bomb off of reigning Gatorade Player of the Year Addison Jackson, a dominating hurler who has led SA to a 12-1 start and a MaxPreps ranking of No. 18 in the nation. Jackson settled in and struck out 10, but Hahnville landed the first blow against their heavily favored opponent.

HHS went toe to toe with a strong Natchitoches Central team as well but couldn’t get over the hump in a 3-2 loss.

“That’s a really good team and we had them on the ropes,” Schulz said.

Once Hahnville returned home for its tournament over the weekend, it found success both on the field and at the box office – the games were strongly attended.

“Great turnout, great weather, we couldn’t have asked for a better weekend,” Schulz said.

 

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