A surging Hahnville Tigers team wrapped up the District 7-5A championship last week in dominating fashion over archrival Destrehan, while the Wildcats suffered a potentially devastating blow beyond the loss itself last week.
The Tigers captured a 17-1 victory after scoring all 17 runs in the final four innings of play, wrapping up an unbeaten district slate in 2021. For Destrehan, however, the larger blow was dealt in the top of the fourth inning, when Wildcats ace pitcher Tyler Oubre was struck by a line drive, breaking her left arm.
The Destrehan senior and University of Louisiana-Lafayette signee was in the midst of another stellar season, and left a scoreless game against Hahnville where she had pitched 3.1 innings of two-hit ball. The injury was to her non-pitching arm. Two years ago, Oubre pitched Destrehan to the best playoff run in program history, turning in three dominant efforts as the Wildcats finished as a state quarterfinalist.
Hahnville (15-8), meanwhile, is firing on all cylinders. The Tigers began the season with a record of 1-7, but it appears the tough early schedule against several top contenders made Hahnville that much stronger. After absorbing that seventh loss, the Tigers rolled off 12 wins in a row, many of those lopsided wins, and a 15-5 loss to West Monroe snapping the streak appears to have had little effect on the team’s momentum.
Against Destrehan, Laney Waguespack tied a Hahnville program record with 14 strikeouts, allowing one run on four hits and a walk. She tied Tiger alums Hannah Haydel, who struck out 14 in 2012, and Karly Taranto, who did the same in 2018. Both of the latter pitchers helped lead Hahnville to the 5A championship game, and the Tigers hope that trend holds.
“Laney was really the key for us,” said Hahnville head coach Jerry Nugent. “We know Tyler is always tough, and he were going to have to find a way to get some runs across. While you’re doing that, you have to keep their bats at bay, and Laney pitched the best game of her career.”
Nugent added that, of course, Oubre’s injury cast an unfortunate light on the day.
“Our hearts go out to her. It’s a tough part of this game … you hate to see it happen to anyone, and you really hate to see it happen to someone who works as hard as she does. It’s devastating.”
Waguespack added a tremendous day at the plate to her effort on the mound,, going 4-for-4 with three runs scored. Kate Bruce went 3-for-4, including a home run, with four RBIs. Makenna Cortez – who drove in the game-winning run in the first meeting with Destrehan early this season – went 2-for-5 with four RBIs. Avery Edgar went 2-for-4 with two runs scored and an RBI and Sara Roussel went 3-for-4 with three runs scored and an RBI.
For Destrehan (18-8), Alyssa Vicknair led the team offensively, going 2-for-4.
Hahnville followed up on its victory over Destrehan with a 16-1 win over Chapelle a day later.
Nugent said the turnaround to the season comes down to what he called one of the grittiest teams he’s ever coached.
“We knew we had the talent to compete against the teams we faced early on, but that we might struggle early,” Nugent said. Last season, we had three starters back from the season prior … so we have a lot of returning starters this season, but without that experience against the top teams because of the COVID stoppage. It was a crash course. They stayed the course and with the approach, got a few key wins and all of the momentum started to build.”
Hahnville’s offensive numbers have climbed considerably during the streak – the team is just five home runs away from breaking the single season home run mark it set three seasons ago. In its past 15 games, Hahnville has scored 10 runs or more 10 times.