CROWLEY – It was a changing of the guard in District 5-AAA softball in 2009. Rayne’s Lady Wolves, having played second fiddle to Notre Dame’s Lady Pioneers during most of decade, turned the tables on their intra-parish rivals this year, winning the league and ending the defending champions’ reign.
Led by first-year head coach Deserea Dunn, the Lady Wolves split the regular season series with the Lady Pios to claim what would have been a share of the 5-AAA title. But Notre Dame pushed for a tie-breaker game at the end of the regular season and Dunn, who was content with sharing the league title, gave in and agreed to play the Lady Pios in what would decide the 5-AAA championship.
That decision paid huge dividends for the Lady Wolves, who wound up upending the Lady Pios, 13-6, to claim the title.
For their efforts, the Lady Wolves nailed down six spots on the All-Acadia Parish squad, including Coach of the Year (Dunn) and Most Valuable Player (Mareil Meche).
Dunn guided Rayne to a 20-9 record in 2009 and a second-round playoff appearance. The Lady Wolves beat Ursuline, 8-0, in the opening round of the Class AAA playoffs before falling to Westlake (6-1) in the regional round.
Meche played a major role in the Lady Wolves’ success, compiling a 17-6 record on the mound during her sophomore campaign. She gave up 56 runs (21 earned) and struck out 106 batters while logging a 1.12 earned run average in 131 innings pitched.
Joining Meche on the squad are teammates Shandi Deville, Kaitlin Thibodeaux, Tori Mott and Kelsey Hollier.
Deville made the team at second base after hitting .303 on the year with two doubles and seven RBI while Thibodeaux, a third baseman, hit .424 with 10 doubles, three triples, one home run and 25 RBI.
Mott and Hollier both made the team as utility players.
Mott, an outfielder for the Lady Wolves, hit .283 with one RBI while Hollier, a shortstop, hit .462 with 10 doubles, two triples, one home run and 16 RBI.
Notre Dame’s Amelia Lavergne, Iota’s Lauren LeJeune and Church Point’s Amai Lyons join Meche as the other pitchers making the team.
Lavergne posted a record of 10-9 with a 2.03 ERA. She struck out 41 batters in 103 innings.
LeJeune was Iota’s workhorse on the mound, logging 120 innings and 12 victories during her junior season. She finished the year with an earned run average of 1.25 and struck out 119 batters.
Lyons recorded five victories and struck out 23 in 75 innings.
Notre Dame’s Meranda Leblanc is the team’s catcher with eight doubles, one triple and 21 RBI to go along with a .303 average.
Crowley first baseman Mandy Burke and Notre Dame shortstop Taylor Simon round out the unit’s infield.
Burke had a breakout season for the CHS Ladies, hitting .327 with two doubles, one triple and six RBI.
Simon was the Lady Pios’ leader in nearly every offensive category, hitting .465 with eight doubles, four triples, two home runs and 31 RBI. She also stole 21 bases in 22 attempts.
Notre Dame’s Alex Boulet and Hannah Miller snagged the final two spots in the outfield.
Boulet, a junior center fielder, hit .389 with one double, three triples and 13 RBI from the leadoff spot. She led the team in stolen bases with 24 thefts in as many attempts.
Miller, a sophomore, hit .365 with one double, two triples, and 22 RBI.
Making the team as utility players are Notre Dame’s Anna Brown, Crowley’s Celes Weekley and Iota’s Carlie Thevis.
Brown hit .257 with two triples, two home runs and 20 RBI while Weekley hit .322 with two doubles and three RBI. Thevis, a senior left fielder, hit .423 with two triples.
Earning honorable mention status are Notre Dame’s Hannah Godeaux; Crowley’s Amy Abshire; Iota’s Celina Bobbett; Rayne’s Julie Boutin and Church Point’s Destinee Calais.
Entering the 2009 prep baseball season, expectations weren’t particularly high for the Notre Dame Pioneers (23-9).
Returning just three starters from the Pios’ 2008 squad that, surprisingly, made an early exit from the playoffs (first round) no one really expected a deep postseason run.
No one that is except Notre Dame second-year coach Timmy Robichaux and his team.
Despite having just two seniors to go along with over 10 sophomores, three juniors and a freshman, the Pios shocked many in Class AAA by advancing all the way to the state semifinals before falling to eventual runnerup St. Charles.
Not surprisingly, the Pios now find themselves dominating the 2009 All-Acadia Parish team with seven selections - including Coach of the Year (Robichaux) and Most Valuable Player (Bryant Gilbert).
Gilbert played a huge role in Notre Dame’s success during his senior campaign, hitting .480 during the regular season with seven doubles, five triples, one home run and 29 RBI.
Although Gilbert had many clutch hits in 2009, possibly his most memorable hit was late in the semifinal game against Lutcher with the Pios clinging to a slim lead.
After straining his hamstring in the regional round against Patterson, Gilbert was limited to a pinch-hitter role against Lutcher. Entering the game with two outs and a runner on third, he singled to the right side to give the Pios a 5-2 advantage.
Joining Gilbert on the All-Parish squad are teammates Austin Robichaux, Ryan Leonards, Blaine Richard, Mitch Corzine, Matt Savoie and Luke Bourgeois.
Robichaux and Leonards each made the team on the mound, combining for 14 of the Pios’ 23 wins.
Robichaux went 7-2 with one save on the year, finishing the season with an earned run average of 2.07. He gave up 30 runs (19 earned) and struck out 78 in 64 innings pitched.
Leonards was 7-3 with a 1.97 ERA. He gave up 27 runs (17 earned) and struck out 54 in just over 60 innings of work.
Richard made the team at catcher after hitting .377 with two doubles, one triple, one home run and 13 RBI. Defensively he threw out 87 percent of the runners that attempted to steal on him.
Corzine earned a spot at second base, hitting .306 with five doubles and 12 RBI. He also pitched, logging a record of 5-1 with an ERA of 1.91 in 33 innings of work.
Savoie made the team at third base while Bourgeois nabbed a spot in the outfield. Savoie hit .396 with eight doubles, one triple, one home run and 29 RBI while Bourgeois hit .329 with six doubles, one triple and 13 RBI.
Crowley High landed six spots on the team in pitcher Justin Desselle, first baseman Corde McCall, shortstop Jake Trahan, outfielder Tyler Dupuis and utility players Chad Hoffpauir and Taylor Bertrand.
Desselle went 4-4 on the mound with an ERA of 2.72. He gave up 22 runs (13 earned) and struck out 51 in 43 innings.
McCall hit .328 and logged four doubles, three home runs and 20 RBI for the Gents while Trahan was a .271 hitter with three doubles, one triple, one home run and 11 RBI. He also struck out just six times in 70 at bats.
Dupuis earned a spot in the outfield after hitting .396 as a junior. He had 11 doubles, three home runs and led the team in runs driven in with 28.
Hoffpauir hit .338 with two doubles, one home run and 15 RBI while Bertrand hit .294 with three doubles, one triple and 15 RBI.
Northside’s Jeremy Marceaux (3-1, 2.10 ERA) and Rayne’s Tyler Venable (4-4, 2.96 ERA) round out the team’s pitching staff.
Church Point’s Derek Dailey completes the outfield while Blake Boudreaux made the squad at utility.
Dailey hit .378 with five doubles, one triple, one home run and 17 RBI while Boudreaux hit .350 with five doubles, one triple, two home runs and 23 RBI.
Iota logged one utility spot in senior Trenton Pickett. He hit .343 on the year for the Bulldogs.
Earning spots as honorable mentions are Crowley’s Brian Broussard; Notre Dame’s Connor Goss and Pete Petitjean; Church Point’s Seth Thibodeaux and Tanner Carreon; Iota’s Blaise LeJeune and Aaron Hebert and Rayne’s Myles Pryor.