CROWLEY – When Zoie Lavergne is at her best and the offense is backing her efforts, the Notre Dame Lady Pios are hard to beat.
Just ask the Iowa Lady Yellow Jackets.
Lavergne, a southpaw, allowed just one hit and struck out eight and the offense exploded for 10 runs and 10 hits in the first inning as the Lady Pios rolled to a 14-0 victory Thursday at Hensgens Field.
The game was halted after five innings due to the mercy rule.
“Zoie had a great outing today,” said Notre Dame head coach Dusty Collette. “I’ve been telling her since day one that we were going to put her in situations to earn her stripes and we let her play in some pretty tough games and she never disappoints. She works really hard and she has proved that she belongs. She’s a good weapon to have.”
The Lady Pios (11-5, 2-0) gave Lavergne all the support she needed in the first inning when they sent 14 batters to the plate.
“We came out real hot today,” said Collette. “I just told the girls to wait for their pitch and drive it and they did exactly that. We didn’t swing at any bad balls or anything. We waited for a good pitch to hit and really drove the ball.”
Lavergne, who splits time in the circle with Mollie Stelly, is 4-0 on the year with a 1.1 earned run average. She has given up four runs on five hits and logged 36 strikeouts in 19 innings this season.
The Lady Pios’ defense was flawless behind Lavergne. They played error free for five innings and ended the game when Harley Bellard fired a strike from right field to gun down Hunter Soileau at third base for the final out of the game.
“Our defense has been big for us,” said Collette. “We have two really good pitchers so we tell them to pitch their game and let their defense play. If they can’t hit you, great. If they can, we have a good defense to back it up.”
Lavergne set the Lady Yellow Jackets down in order in the top of the first inning and then got an extended break as her offense took over in the bottom of the frame.
Taylor Boulet got the Lady Pios going with a leadoff triple and scored one batter later on a double down the left field line by Allie Daigle. Alexa Thibodeaux then drove a fastball over the left field wall for a two-run home run to put the Lady Pios up 3-0.
Unfortunately for the Lady Saints, that was just the beginning.
Back-to-back one-out walks set the table for Brittney Nolan, who drove a double to center field that plated two more runs. Lavergne helped her own cause with an RBI double before scoring on a single by Boulet. Taylor Satchell added an RBI single and a two-out error allowed two more runs to score before the Lady Jackets finally got out of the inning.
The Lady Pios added four more runs in the second inning. Bellard doubled to start the frame and Nolan singled before Megan Murrell drew a walk to load the bases. Lavergne then came though again with another double to drive in three runs. Daigle added a run-scoring single to give the Lady Pios a 14-0 advantage.
Notre Dame will return to District 4-3A action this week when they travel to Westlake for a 4:30 p.m. showdown on Wednesday. The will return home for a 5 p.m. contest against cross-town rival Crowley High on Thursday.