For over a decade, it was a like a foregone conclusion two or more teams from Evangeline Parish were going to make it to the State Softball Tournament. The last time it happened was in 2004, when Pine Prairie, Vidrine and Sacred Heart all went to Sulphur. Later that year, the schools of Evangeline Parish were consolidated and that feat never happened again. That’s all changed as of this year. Sacred Heart and Pine Prairie will both represent Evangeline Parish and District 6-2A tomorrow when the tournament begins.
Sacred Heart will take the diamond first at noon on field 14. The Lady Trojans will meet the last team to eliminate them at Frash Park. The South Beauregard Lady Knights defeated SHHS in 2004 2-0 in the semi-finals before going on to win the Class 2A State Title.
The following year, South Beauregard defeated the Lady Trojans in the second round of the playoffs 4-1.
So with all that history, you might think the Lady Trojans are thinking about a dose of revenge that is long overdue, but that is not the case.
“Practice has had an up-tempo excitement and we are looking forward to going,” said SHHS Head Coach Robert Davenport who is making his coaching debut at Frash Park. “We know that once you get there all the teams are good. Jack Deason runs a good program at South Beau. They are never loaded with the best athletes, but they do what they do well. They will play hard and we know that, but so will we. That’s what it’s all about.”
The winner of that game will meet the winner of the Rosepine and Sterlington game Saturday at 11 a.m.
District 6-2A champion Pine Prairie is making its second straight trip to the tournament. They missed the dance in 2006 and 2007 after winning the whole thing in 2005. Like the Lady Trojans, the Lady Panthers are meeting a very familiar face in the opening round of the playoffs.
Tomorrow at 2 p.m. on field 14, the Lady Panthers will square off against Pope John Paul II out of Slidell. PJP eliminated Pine Prairie last year in the semi-finals. Despite losing some key players. Long time PPHS Head Coach Carolyn Deville feels her team has an excellent shot at getting a victory in the quarter-finals.
“I think having a week to prepare for them will give us a lot more confidence,” Deville remarked. “This team is a little different than last year’s team. We don’t rely on any one key player like a lot of other schools may do. We look for nine or 10 players to do the job.”
The winner of tomorrow’s quarter-final game will meet the winner out of top-seeded Evangel and Kinder. Like PJP, Evangel has a big-time pitcher that is the key to their success.
Both teams are expected to be ready to play when they take the field tomorrow afternoon. A four-day stretch of practice and a very tough district schedule has helped the two squads all year long. Not to mention, both team’s very tough non-district slate and tournament