Patterson High School's Makayla Knight pitches during regular-season action against Central Lafourche. Knight tossed a complete game and surrendered two runs on just four hits as No. 24 seed Patterson upset No. 9 seed Iota 4-2 in Class 3A Bi-District round action in Iota Thursday. The playoff victory is the Lumberjills' first since the 2013 season. (The Daily Review/File Photo)
Makayla's Knight! Senior pitcher Knight powers 'Jills to playoff upset
With Patterson’s season on the line, Patterson Head Softball Coach Matt Lipari turned to Makayla Knight to lead the No. 24 seed Lumberjills on the mound in their Class 3A first-round playoff game at No. 9 Iota Thursday.
Knight, a senior who Lipari said recently returned from an early-season injury, delivered for the Lumberjills helping them a 4-2 upset victory.
“It was a huge victory,” Lipari said. “Huge victory. We put all our eggs in a basket. Makayla came back from being injured. She pitched a hell of a game, one of the best games I’ve ever been a part of. She pitched seven innings. We practically had to carry her off the field to the outfield (after the game). It was unbelievable. She did a great job.”
The win was the Lumberjills’ first in a playoff contest since 2013 when Patterson defeated Loranger on the road.
Like Thursday’s win, that contest featured the Lumberjills making a lengthy road trip. The seeds were similar, too, as Patterson was the No. 23 seed and Loranger, the No. 10 seed.
Thursday, Knight surrendered two runs on four hits and fanned five.
Offensively, Patterson, which never trailed, scored all of its runs in two innings. Gabby Marcel connected on a two-RBI double in the top of the first inning for a 2-0 Patterson lead, while Layla Giroir contributed a two-RBI triple in the third that extended Patterson’s lead to 4-0.
“We had some clutch, clutch hits at the right time,” Lipari said.
Iota scored a run in the third and another in the seventh via a home run.
The home squad made things interesting in their final at bat as an additional runner reached base in the bottom of the seventh with no outs and the team trailing 4-2. However, Patterson’s defense recorded a double play, and Knight got a called third strike on another batter to preserve the victory.
Lipari said Lumberjills won Thursday’s game because every player fulfilled their role on the field.
He said his bench was vocal, too.
“The kids on the bench kept all the girls fired up the whole game,” he said.
Layla Giroir, Gabby Marcel and Kara Lawrence were Patterson’s top hitters. Giroir was 1-for-3 with a triple and two RBIs, while Marcel was 1-for-4 with a double and two RBIs. Lawrence finished 2-for-3.
Patterson will continue playoff action next week in the regional round when it faces the winner of No. 8 South Beauregard and No. 25 Baker. That first-round game will be played Friday.