LAKE CHARLES – The Crowley Ladies softball team continued one of its most impressive starts in years Monday, crushing Hamilton Christian, 20-10.
The contest was halted after the fifth inning due to the mercy rule.
It was the Ladies’ (10-1) sixth straight victory since dropping a 6-5 decision to Lafayette High on Saturday, Feb. 23.
“The last few games, especially tonight, we have played some teams that have been struggling. But the good thing is, we have done what we are supposed to do,” said CHS coach Zach Pulling. “We’ve taken care of business and done what we should do. We haven’t played down to their level and we’ve continued to play at our own.”
On Monday, the Ladies delivered at the plate, pounding out 19 hits, eight of them for extra bases. The Ladies racked up five doubles, two triples and one home run in the romping.
“In the first five or six games (of the season) we managed to kind of depend on our pitcher a little more in those wins,” said Pulling, whose team is hitting .354 on the season and averaging 8.9 runs per game. “Now, we’re putting it together at the plate. We’re hot at the plate right now and that’s where we want to be.”
The Ladies got on the board early and often against Hamilton, banging out five hits and taking advantage of three errors to take a 7-0 lead in the opening frame.
Bailee Villejoin and Heather Trahan each drove in a pair of runs and Katelyn Killmer had an RBI single in the inning.
The Ladies added five more runs over the next two innings on six hits, including an RBI double by Megan Guidry and a pair of RBI singles from Maddie LeBouef and Kristen Bonin.
They put the finishing touches on the game in the bottom of the fifth when 11 batters stepped to the plate. The Ladies scored eight runs on eight hits, including a two-run triple by Guidry and a two-run home run to left field by LeBouef.
Trahan paced the Ladies with a 4-for-4 performance that included a double and five RBI. Guidry followed with two doubles, a triple and three RBI while LeBouef had three hits and three RBI. Villejoin added three hits and three RBI and Olivia Boullion was 3-for-5 with a triple.
In addition, Bonin singled and drove in two runs, Skylor Huval doubled in a run and Killmer had one hit and one RBI.
“We try to get them to understand that you can’t become complacent at the plate,” said Pulling. “If you become complacent at all or satisfied with where you are at, your end result is not going to be what you want.
“We have to continue to battle at the plate, not make many mistakes and play our game. That’s what we did tonight. We came out and played five innings of our game and that’s the way we need to continue to play.”
Boullion is the Ladies’ hottest hitter with a .515 average. She has three doubles, two triples and one home run while posting an .818 slugging percentage.
Four other Ladies are hitting just above .400 on the season, including LeBouef who has a .441 average with 13 RBI. Killmer, a freshman, comes in at .433 with 12 RBI while Trahan and Guidry are hitting .421 and .414, respectively.
“As far as the seniors, that’s kind of what I expect out of them,” said Pulling. “(I expect) Olivia to be the one leading out and she’s been consistent the entire time. Maddie had struggled early on, but I think she’s kind of found her rhythm. She’s got her timing down and that’s translated into some pretty good performances at the plate.
“And Killmer, she’s exceeding expectations. She’s been as clutch a hitter for a team as anybody all season. Coming from a freshman, that’s saying a lot.”
Boullion has also led the charge in the circle. The senior pitcher limited Hamilton to just one hit and struck out eight in Monday’s victory.
On the season, Boullion is 8-1 with a 0.36 earned run average. She has just eight walks and has struck out 61 batters in 59 innings of work.
“Olivia has really been dominant on the mound,” said Pulling. “She just keeps on keeping on. She gets a lot of first pitch strikes and gets ahead of batters.
“It’s fun to call pitches with her up there because you know wherever you call it, about 90 percent of the time she’s going to put it right there. That makes my job a whole lot easier.”
Crowley returns to action on Friday when they take on Port Barre at 4 p.m. in the Tioga Tournament. The Ladies will wrap up tournament play on Saturday when they take on host Tioga at noon and Sacred Heart of Ville Platte at 2:30 p.m.