The last time Hahnville and Destrehan squared off in district softball action, the Wildcats handed the Tigers their first loss in that rivalry in nearly a decade. Last Tuesday, Hahnville earned a measure of payback. The Tigers’ Karly Taranto pitched a complete game shutout to help lead her team to a 13-6 victory over host Destrehan in District 7-5A action.
“Whenever you play at Destrehan, a big rivalry like that, their kids get up for it and our get kids up for it,” Hahnville coach Jerry Nugent said. “It’s a big battle and our kids answered it well. Karly Taranto probably threw her best game of the season. We were able to string together multiple hits in key situations and that made the difference.
Taranto allowed six hits and walked no batters in the performance, striking out four along the way as she helped the Tigers improve on their hot start.
“I really think it’s our team chemistry (as to) why we’ve been so successful,” Taranto said. “We kinda felt like we gave it away (to Destrehan) last year. We felt this game was important, but we didn’t want to make it bigger than it was.”
Hahnville’s Danielle Duplay went 3-for-4 in the leadoff spot for Hahnville. Bayleigh Baudouin drove in two runs, while Catherine Friloux, Courtney Ortego and Jourdyn Hogan each collected two hits.
Destrehan’s Sarah Boquet and Kaela Schiro each went 2-for-3. Carla Beck took the loss on the mount, going the complete game and allowing five earned runs on 13 hits.
Hahnville seized control in the third inning, where the Tigers pushed three runs across the plate. Baudouin made it 1-0 after her sacrifice fly scored Courtney Ortego. A second run scored on an error, while Friloux’s single to centerfield brought Prince across.
That inning saw the only runs of the game until the sixth inning, when RBI singles by Hogan, Ortego, Duplay and Baudouin powered a four-run frame.
The Tigers (13-4-1) now turn their attention to the North-South Invitational Tournament, held in Zachary, which pits strong teams from both North and South Louisiana against one another.
Hahnville will face West Ouachita Friday and then Ruston and Alexandria Saturday. Ruston is currently the fifth-ranked team in Louisiana by power points.
Nugent is actually one of the coaches responsible for brainstorming the event, along with coaches from St. Amant, West Monroe and former Hahnville head coach Kenneth Vial.
“We were talking about how, because of travel restrictions, and overall geography, a lot of us didn’t get a chance to see certain teams in the playoffs,” Nugent said. “That’s kind of the reason for it, to see potential postseason opponents.”
He added that the teams awaiting Hahnville will test them, and that’s by design.
“We want to play the best teams we can find in the toughest venues,” Nugent said. “We’ve got to be battle tested before the playoffs.”