For the second straight season, Ouachita Parish proved a heartbreaker for Hahnville.
The defending Class 5A champions brought the Tigers’ 2019 season to an end via Madelyn Fletcher’s walk-off RBI double in the bottom of the seventh inning Tuesday night, earning a 4-3 victory in a second round Class 5A playoff game.
It was a rematch of the 2018 state championship game between the teams that saw Ouachita rally for a 10-9 victory over Hahnville to earn the Class 5A championship.
“Both teams got timely hits, both played great defense and pitched … it’s how games at this point in the season are, and it’s what we prepared for,” said Hahnville coach Jerry Nugent. “A game where we go toe to toe. They just made one more play than we did and earned themselves the win. We knew it would be a tough trip to go up there.”
HHS led initially in Tuesday’s contest, taking a 1-0 lead in the fourth inning after Makenna Cortez, Hannah Borne and Marissa Allemand each drew walks to load the bases. Kate Bruce drew one more to force home a run. Montana Smith pushed the lead to 2-0 on her RBI single later in the inning that scored Borne.
Ouachita answered with a run in the bottom of the fourth, but Hahnville pushed the lead to 3-1 after Bayleigh Baudouin scored on a passed ball in the fifth.
Ouachita drew within a run in their half of the inning on a Kendal Patton home run, then tied things up in the sixth on Kaylee Nettles’ RBI double.
Nugent said it was a tough loss not just because it brought the season to an end, but even moreso because he wanted to see a young group that had banded together to accomplish so much keep their run going.
“This team kind of started out with its backs against the wall when the season started,” Nugent said. “Everyone kind of made the assumption that because of youth, graduation, whatever have you, that we wouldn’t be a factor. So when you’re backed up like that, you either get knocked out or come out punching. They did the latter and that’s what made them successful.”
Still, the future looks bright for a team that saw several freshmen and sophomores make considerable contributions and cement themselves as core pieces to a winning team.
“It was amazing to watch them grow,” Nugent said. “The success they had against the schedule we played, it’s unheard of. But they work, work, work and they showed a lot of grit.”