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Softball roundup: Neville, West Monroe advance to quarterfinals



MONROE, La. – Three parish teams advanced to the quarterfinals with victories Wednesday evening.


No. 4 Neville 13, No. 13 Leesville 6

A six-run third inning, which was highlighted by a grand slam by Kaitlyn Worsham, paved the way for a quarterfinal berth for the (17-12) Lady Tigers.

Worsham had a 7-RBI day for Neville, as she led the team with a 3-for-3 performance in the playoff win.

“She really had a great game last night,” Neville head coach Trey Dozier said. “She’s seeing the ball well, and it’s really showing. She was banging it off the wall last night.”

Neville wasn’t about to advance to the quarterfinals without facing a little adversity.

It came as early as the first inning, as the Lady Tigers found themselves in a hole immediately after a solo Leesville dinger.

“Addie (Nickelson) wasn’t hitting her spots as well as she has been, but our defense did a good job of taking advantage of them being a little over aggressive on the bases,” Dozier said.

Not to worry, the Lady Tigers were up for the challenge. Neville’s Elle Carter led off the bottom half of the inning with a double and with two on and no outs, the Lady Tigers were in a prime position to regain the advantage. Worsham made sure that opportunity wasn’t wasted when she hit a 2-RBI double.

Leesville regained the lead in the second inning when Karis Kiker launched a two-run bomb. But the seesaw battle continued when Lela Hansen knocked in Madalyn Jones to tie the game, 3-3. Ellie Loftin followed with her own RBI double and Worsham scored Loftin with an RBI single to give the Lady Tigers a 5-3 advantage after two.

Leesville had no problem getting the barrel on the ball with nine hits in the ballgame. The Lady Cats had no runs on three hits in the third inning, though, as Neville’s defense took advantage of an overzealous Leesville team on the base path. Catcher Addie Bagwell threw out the leadoff base runner to begin the inning.

“She had a great night behind the plate,” Dozier said.

Jones’ RBI single extended Neville’s lead to 6-3 in the third. Later in the inning, with the bases loaded and two outs, Loftin singled in another run before setting the stage for Worsham’s grand slam that made it an 11-3 ballgame.

Leesville answered Neville’s monster inning by loading the bases with no outs in the top of the fourth. But Nickelson got two popups before giving up just one run in the inning.

Nickelson finished her night in the sixth with 124 pitches. She allowed four runs on eight hits and four walks. Alice Rutledge entered and finished the game in the seventh.

Neville tallied 11 hits in the victory.

Even though Neville is a higher seed, the Lady Tigers will travel to take on No. 5 North Vermilion in the quarterfinals since North Vermilion traveled in the second round.

“We’ll hit the road at 8:45 a.m. Friday and play a 3 (p.m.),” Dozier said. “We’ve been battle tested, and we’ve played well on the road this year.”

No. 1 West Monroe 4, No. 16 Benton 0

After a dominant outing in the opening round victory against No. 32 Slidell, No. 1 (29-2) West Monroe ace Maddie Nichols put on another postseason clinic Wednesday.

Nichols held Benton scoreless and allowed just one hit and no walks in the victory. She also struck out 12 Lady Tiger batters. Nichols has struck out 29 batters she’s faced in the first two rounds.

“It all starts in that center, and while our defense has been solid, there haven’t been very many balls put in play,” West Monroe head coach Amy Daigle said.

The Lady Rebels got on the board in the bottom of the second inning when Mackenzie Dubois hit a 2-run homer.

Benton threatened in the fourth when Marissa Schoth reached on an error and advanced to second on the throwing error with one out. Nichols drew a pop-out followed by a strikeout to end the threat.

West Monroe took a 2-0 lead into the sixth inning.

“We had opportunity after opportunity to score some more runs, but I felt good because of how well Maddie was throwing,” Daigle said. “And we have confidence in our defense. Our defense made some really nice plays in the seventh inning.”

West Monroe added two insurance runs in the sixth inning when Mady Manning blasted a solo bomb and Kaylee Cooley knocked in another run.

The Lady Rebels will travel to play No. 9 Natchitoches Central after its second round upset against No. 8 Central B.R.

“Right now, we don’t know when or where we’re playing,” Daigle said. “I requested to play at 3 p.m. Saturday because of the rain on Friday. I’m still waiting to hear more details, but we’re hoping to play Saturday.”

No. 13 West Ouachita 0, No. 4 Walker 4  

Walker’s Lainee Bailey gave (19-14) West Ouachita batters fits in a 4-0 second round victory Wednesday night.

Bailey tossed a no-hitter and struck out 12 Lady Chief batters in the victory.

Bailey also homered in the victory for the Lady Wildcats.

Walker broke the scoreless tie in the third inning when Alayna Daigrepont hit a 2-RBI homer. Daigrepont led the team with 3 RBIs in the victory for the Top 4 seed.

West Ouachita freshman pitcher Avery Freer allowed three earned runs on six hits and one walk in the loss.

No. 7 Sterlington 16, No. 10 North Webster 6


No. 5 St. Frederick 1, No. 12 Riverside Academy 2

Riverside broke a 1-1 tie in the seventh inning to upset the Lady Warriors at home Tuesday.

Riverside scored the game-winning run on a groundout that ultimately sent Anna Claire Mistretta to home plate.

St. Frederick’s Sarah Grace Loftin and Piper Yarbrough each recorded two hits in the loss. Loftin drove in the lone score for the Lady Warriors.

Sarah Grace Loftin gave up just one earned run on eight hits and four walks. She also struck out seven for St. Frederick.

The Lady Warriors finished the season with a 19-9 record.

No. 9 Ouachita Christian 2, No. 8 Opelousas Catholic 7

A slow start set the tempo for an unfortunate opening round loss for the Ouachita Christian Lady Eagles in Division IV play.

The Lady Eagles went down in order in the first three innings, while Opelousas Catholic scored three runs in the bottom of the first.

“Great group of seniors moving on,” OCS head coach Daniel Kirkendall said. “It will be difficult to replace them.”

The Lady Eagles finished the season with a 16-14 overall record.