Central Catholic's Haley Fontenot connects on a double during Monday's win.
(The Daily Review/Geoff Stoute)
Running into the Quarterfinals: Central Catholic run-rules Vermilion Catholic 11-0
After splitting two close games in their District 7-1A contests this season, the final — and most important matchup — between Central Catholic and Vermilion Catholic Monday in Division IV Regional Round softball action was nothing like the first two.
Behind 12 hits, Central Catholic pounded its way to an 11-0 run-rule victory in five innings in Amelia Monday.
“That’s one of our best offensive performances,” Central Catholic Coach Linda Sanders said. “All the girls contributed from No. 1 to No. 9. … I’m pretty sure everybody got a hit or got on base, which is amazing. I’ve been telling them they need to play with intensity all game long, and this game they played with intensity all game long. They really stepped up, and I’m really proud of those girls.”
Facing the same Vermilion Catholic pitcher, Kelli Frith for the third time this season, the Lady Eagles adjusted and made contact with the ball.
“They know what she has,” Sanders said. “They know she had that good changeup, so a lot of them made some adjustments on that. Pitching batting practice, I kind of threw her same speed, so that they had that going in.”
The Lady Eagles set the tone early as leadoff batter Haley Fontenot began the game with a triple to left field and scored two batters later when she tagged on a foul-out by teammate Brooke Lipari.
Central Catholic scored its second run on an error for a 2-0 lead.
The Lady Eagles scored two runs in the second, including a run-scoring double by Fontenot that brought in teammate Emily Lipari. Fontenot later scored when she stole third base and a throw to try to get her out went into left field with nobody covering the base. She came home for the Lady Eagles’ second run of the inning.
Fontenot finished the game 3-for-3 with two doubles, a triple, three RBIs, two stolen bases and three runs.
The Lady Eagles broke the game open in the bottom of the third with seven runs.
Back-to-back doubles by Fontenot and Alanni Landry brought in two runs apiece for an 8-0 lead.
Landry scored on a passed ball, and Rylie Jeau Theriot doubled to left field to bring in two more runs for an 11-0 advantage.
While the Lady Eagles’ offense was hot, pitcher Hallie Crappell and the defense also turned in a solid day.
Crappell surrendered just two hits and fanned three in five innings. She threw just 60 pitches.
The Central Catholic defense also committed just one error.
“We’ve been struggling a little bit on our defense all year having errors,” Sanders said. “Today was a great day. I think we had one error as opposed to we’ve had multiple errors in games. They stepped up, and we played solid defense, which was key for us.”
Other top Central Catholic offensive contributors were Theriot, 1-for-2 with a double and two RBIs; Landry, 1-for-3, a double, two RBIs and a run; Bailee Lipari, 2-for-3, two runs; and Brooke Lipari, 1-for-2, an RBI and a run.
Frith suffered the loss. In four innings, she surrendered 11 runs — 10 earned — on 12 hits with three walks and three strikeouts.
Offensively, Rosie Hagle led Vermilion Catholic with a 1-for-2 performance with a double.
Central Catholic now will travel to face top-seed Ouachita Christian on Saturday at 1 p.m. in Monroe in the Division IV quarterfinals.