FALSE RIVER – Notre Dame first-year softball coach Dusty Collette knew his team had the potential to put runs on the board.
He knew coming in that he had a wealth of returners that could hit thoughout the lineup.
On Wednesday, he found out just how explosive the Lady Pios could be.
The Lady Pios (2-1) banged out 25 hits and pulled away late with 10 runs in the seventh inning to cruise past Catholic Point Coupee, 18-0.
“Today, we wanted to come out and make a statement and I think we did that,” said Collette, whose team was limited to just one hit in a 2-0 loss to Class 4A power St. Thomas More a day earlier. “We wanted to come out and get back on track on the offensive side.
“Against St. Thomas More, we just really didn’t make any solid contact with the ball and that was really upsetting. I don’t want to take anything away from STM’s pitcher, but we knew we were better than that.
“Today, we broke out and really got back to hitting the ball well.”
Notre Dame’s offense provided more than enough support for junior pitcher Mollie Stelly, who recorded her second shutout in three games. She earned the victory after giving up just two hits and striking out nine in five innings.
Zoie Lavergne took the mound in the sixth inning and set the Lady Eagles down in order in the final two frames. The southpaw hurler struck out four.
“We feel like we have two solid pitchers that we can use and not depend on just one so much,” said Collette. “I think that will pay big dividends for us, especially late in the season.
“And it helps that we have a righty and a lefty. To throw that at a team, to have that duo, is going to be a great thing for us. Any chance we get, we’re going to use both of them.”
The Lady Pios gave Stelly some breathing room in the first inning when they plated three runs on four hits. Allie Daigle laced a double to centerfield and Alexa Thibodeaux followed with an RBI double. Taylor Satchell then drove in the second run with a triple down the left field line. Brittany Nolan platted the final run of the inning with a single to right center.
From that point, it looked as if the mercy rule might come into play earlier than usual.
However, the Lady Eagles didn’t falter and they held Notre Dame scoreless over the next three innings.
“In the second, third and fourth (innings), we got the bat on the ball but we just had trouble bringing in runs,” said Collette. “We just failed to get good contact on it and we hit it right at people.
“I just told the girls to stay confident, keep swinging and it will find the gaps.”
That it did.
Harley Bellard ended the offensive drought in the fifth inning with a towering three-run home run over the right center field wall to give the Lady Pios a 6-0 lead.
Alexa Thibodeaux added to the lead in the sixth with a two-run double.
Then in the top of the seventh, the Lady Pios exploded.
Back-to-back hits and a walk loaded the bases with no outs for Taylor Boulet, who plated the first run of the inning with a sharp grounder to the infield. Daigle plated a run on a bases-loaded walk and Satchell picked up an RBI on a single to the left side of the infield. Nolan and Lavergne got in on the action with a pair of two-run singles before Daigle drew another bases-loaded walk. Satchell picked up her second RBI of the inning on a single to left and the Lady Pios plated their final run on a fielder’s choice.
“When we started up again, the runs just kept coming,” said Collette.
Daigle and Thibodeaux paced the Lady Pios’ offensive attack with four hits each. Daigle drove in three runs and Thibodeaux drove in two.
Satchell and Nolan each had three hits and three RBI; Lavergne had three hits and two RBI; Boulet had two singles and one RBI; Bellard drove in three with a home run and a single, Megan Murrell had two hits and Stelly had one.
Weather permitting, Notre Dame is slated to take on St. Thomas More today in Lafayette at 4 p.m. in the opening round of the Lady Cougars’ tournament. The Lady Pios will then play two games on Saturday when they take on St. Joseph’s Academy at 1 p.m. and Vandebilt Catholic at 3.
CHS Ladies improve to 2-0
CROWLEY – The Crowley Ladies pushed across one run in the fifth inning and two in the sixth to slip past Church Point Tuesday, 3-0.
The Ladies improved to 2-0 with the victory.
Olivia Boullion was credited with the victory after pitching seven scoreless innings. She gave up five hits, walked one and struck out eight.
Church Point’s Olivia Daigle suffered the loss, giving up three runs on eight hits in six innings of work.
The Ladies posted their first run of the game in the sixth when Taylor Grabowski singled and scored on Heather Trahan’s triple to right field.
Church Point threatened in the top of the sixth when Morgan Daigle led off the frame with a single. However, she was thrown out on a steal attempt two pitches later by CHS catcher Megan Guidry.
McKenzi Dailey and Shanna Alleman followed with back-to-back singles before Boullion got out of the potential jam with two ground outs back to the mound.
The Ladies put the finishing touches on the game in the sixth when Maddie LeBouef doubled in courtesy runner Whitney Senegal and Skylor Huval brought home LeBouef on a single to center.
Trahan had two hits, including a double and an RBI, for the Ladies while Boullion had a double and a single. Killmer also added two hits, LeBouef had a double and an RBI and Huval drove in one with a single.
Morgan Daigle had two hits for the Lady Bears. She was followed by Dailey, Alleman and Bergeron with one hit apiece.
Lady Warriors top Gueydan
GUEYDAN – Brooke Stanford pitched seven solid innings and drove in two runs to help lead Northside Christian to a 4-1 victory over Gueydan Wednesday in the Lady Warriors’ season opener.
Stanford went the distance on the mound, giving up one unearned run while walking one and striking out three.
Leah Monte paced the offense with two hits, including a double, while Stanford and Madisyn Clement each had a double and two RBI. Katelyn Jones added a double as well and Kristen Spell had a single.