CROWLEY – For the first two innings Wednesday, St. Louis pitcher Shannon Dalton held the Notre Dame Lady Pios in check, surrendering just one hit.
One look by the Lady Pios’ batters was all that it took, however.
The Lady Pios (9-3) settled in at the plate and on their second round through the lineup, exploded for five hits and six runs en route to a 12-1 victory at Hensgens Park.
“That was probably the best pitcher that we’ve faced in the last few weeks,” said Notre Dame coach Dusty Collette of Dalton. “As far as speed wise, that was the fastest we’ve seen because this past weekend we had to adjust to some slower pitching in the Lafayette High tournament.
“The first at bat tonight, we were basically just trying to catch up to her pitches. Once we caught up and stayed on it, we started hitting the ball solid.”
Dalton surrendered one run in the second inning to Zoie Lavergne, who drilled a fastball to left field to score Taylor Satchell, who was hit by a pitch to start the inning.
The second time through the lineup was the charm, however, for Notre Dame.
The Lady Pios banged out five hits, including a home run and two doubles in the third frame to extend their advantage to 7-0.
Alexa Thibodeaux got the Lady Pios going with a one-out single to right field and Taylor Satchell followed with a double that hit off the left center field wall. Brittney Nolan’s ground-out pushed across the first run of the inning before Mollie Stelly drove home another run with a single to left.
Lavergne plated another run on a groundout and Megan Murrell drove a two-run home run over the right-center field wall. Taylor Boulet capped the scoring with an RBI double to center.
The scoring barrage continued in the fourth inning when the Lady Pios collected three more hits and capitalized on two errors and one walk.
Thibodeaux singled to start the inning and Satchell reached on an error to set the table for Stelly. The senior hurler helped her own cause when she launched a three-run home run to straight-away center. Elise LeBeouf plated the final run of the inning with an RBI double to left.
In all, the Lady Pios had nine hits with five of those going for extra bases.
“We are really just seeing the ball well right now,” said Collette of his hitters. “They are putting power behind their swings and hitting line drives and gaps.”
St. Louis pushed across its lone run in the fourth inning when Morgan Rosteet doubled and scored on a double by Ellen Briley.
The Lady Saints had three straight hits in the inning, but Notre Dame was able to avoid any further damage thanks to Nolan.
With one out, Da’Sha Pitre singled to Nolan in left field and Briley attempted to score from second base. The strong-armed left fielder picked up the ball in stride and fired a strike to catcher Alexa Thibodeaux to cut down Briley at the plate. Alex Hebert then grounded out to Boulet at third for the final out of the inning.
“That play was kind of a momentum changer,” said Collette of the play at the plate. “I saw the coach sending her (Briley) home and we were all screaming four, four. I didn’t want Brittney to rush the catch but when I saw she was in good enough position to get the throw in, I new we had a shot. She has a good arm and she put it on the money.”
Overall, the Lady Pios committed just one error on the day behind Stelly, who earned the victory in the circle.
Stelly limited the Lady Saints to just one run on four hits and one walk. She struck out six in five innings.
Rosteet, Briley and Elise Ange each had a double for the Lady Saints and Pitre had a single.
Stelly also led the charge at the plate by going 2-for-2 with a home run and four RBI. Thibodeaux also had two hits. Murrell had one hit (home run) and two RBI while Lavergne had a single and two RBI. Boulet and LeBeouf each had a double and one RBI, Satchell added a double and Nolan drove in one run.
Notre Dame will return to action on Saturday when they travel to Lafayette to take on St. Thomas More at 9 a.m. in the Teurlings Catholic Tournament.
The Lady Pios will round out tournament play on Sunday with an 11 a.m. contest against host Teurlings and a 3 p.m. game against Comeaux.