The Lady Pios improved to 14-8 overall and 3-2 in District 5-AAA with the victory.
“This was a big win for us,” said ND coach Lauren Delahoussaye, whose squad dropped a 6-5 decision to Kaplan last Tuesday after losing three straight games in the Sulphur Tournament.
Pivotal in the Lady Pios’ victory was the team’s defensive play, which atoned for its 14-error nightmare against Kaplan by committing only one error against Erath.
The Lady Pios made the majority of the routine plays and Katherine Kirsch made even the tough plays look easy. Kirsch made a diving catch in right field in the second inning, and then, after moving to left field, gunned down Mattie Suire at the plate in the top of the fifth inning to end the contest.
“I was definitely pleased with our defensive play,” said Delahoussaye. “Errors have been a thorn in our side for the last few games and to cut the down to one was huge. We have been hitting well and scoring runs but in order to secure those runs we have to be able to play defense.”
Mollie Stelly also played a key role in the victory. The freshman pitcher sat Erath down in order in the first three innings before giving up a run on no hits and a walk in the fourth.
Stelly gave up three hits and one run in the fifth. In all, she allowed two runs on three hits and two walks while striking out four.
“Mollie is a freshman but she is one of the hardest workers I’ve been around and she’s improving,” said Delahoussaye. “She’s learning and we want her in those pressure situations so she can learn to handle them. Having her on the mound as often as we can is hopefully going to give her the experience she needs to help us get deeper into the season.”
The final piece of the puzzle Thursday was Notre Dame’s offense. The Lady Pios recorded 13 hits, including two triples and two doubles, off Erath hurler Noel Hebert.
Taylor Simon led the Lady Pios with a 3-for-4 performance that included a double and three RBI. Kirsch followed with two triples and three RBI.
Allie Daigle and Charlotte Brown also had two hits each. Daigle also had three runs driven in and Brown had one.
In addition, Taylor Boulet doubled in two runs while Meranda LeBlanc, Amelia Lavergne and Hillary Stelly each had one hit.
“Hitting wise, we’ve been doing great,” said Delahoussaye. “We stress moving runners around and finding ways to score the runners and we did a good job of that today.”
The Lady Pios will be in action again Tuesday when they travel to Rayne for a key league showdown with the Lady Wolves at 5 p.m. The Lady Pios lost to Rayne, 7-4, in the first round of district play.
“The first game, we had a nice little rally at the end so we know we can score on them,” said Delahoussaye. “We are hoping to come out and play our hardest, give them the best game that we can and, hopefully, come out on top.”