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‘An indescribable feeling’

Michael Kiral / L’Observateur / May 6, 1998

ALEXANDRIA – Riverside-St. Charles Catholic has been everything a greatsports rivalry is supposed to be over the years. The teams have playedclose, intense games, battling for district titles in every sport from football to golf. But the one thing they had never faced off against eachother for was a state championship.

Until Saturday night.

And when the two teams finally played for all the hardware, it was just as it was to be expected – a classic game that went down to the wire.

Alisha Reine drove in Kristin Oberschmidt with a two-out, two strike single in the bottom of the seventh, giving St. Charles a 2-1 victory in theClass 2A state championship softball game at the Alexandria Youth Softball Complex Saturday night.

“It is undescribable,” St. Charles Catholic coach Teri Hruska said of thevictory.

The championship was the first for the Lady Comets and the first for St.

Charles Catholic in any sport since its golf team won the state championship in 1981.

The Lady Comets finished their season at 24-9. Riverside closed at 26-7.”You have to give credit to them,” Riverside coach Matt White said of St.

Charles Catholic. “They are a great team. They did what they had to do towin the state championship.” “We put ourselves in a position to win a state championship. That is allyou can ask for in any sport. The girls have nothing to hang their headsabout. We will be back. I guarantee it. It was a great year, a great season.”The Lady Comets trailed 1-0 heading into the bottom of the seventh inning.

Kristen Clement led off with a grounder to shortstop Amy Trepagnier, whose throw went over first baseman Mandy Roussel, allowing Clement to reach. Jenny Traina came in to pinch run for Clement and was sacrificed tosecond by Jessie Zeringue.

Oberschmidt then came up and fouled off two two-strike pitches before lining a double into the left-center field gap, scoring Traina with the tying run. Sarah Weber followed with a grounder back to pitcher TanyaTeague, who threw to first as Oberschmidt advanced to third.

Reine, who had been hitless in the game, came up and on a two-two pitch, hit a sharp grounder between first and second. Right fielder BridgetLambert charged the ball and fired to first, but her throw went past Roussel as Oberschmidt crossed the plate.

“If it was close to being good, I was swinging at it,” Reine said of the winning hit.

Reine said Hruska had pulled the team together for a talk before its last at bat.

“She said this would be the last time to do anything,” Reine said. “We hadto score or it would be over with.”Riverside took a 1-0 lead in the top of the second as Katie Brady led off with a single to center. Roussel followed with a bunt with courtesy runnerJennifer Guidry beating Clement’s throw to second. Courtney St. Amantsacrificed both runners over and after Clement made a diving catch of Brandi Falgoust’s bunt attempt, Ashley Bourgeois brought Guidry in with a single to left.

From there, Teague and St. Charles Catholic starter Marci Martin and thedefenses took over. One of the key plays came in the top of the third whencatcher Kori Guillory threw out Marcy Remondet trying to steal to end the inning.

“That gave me more confidence,” Guillory said. “I was nervous beforethat.”Teague got out of a jam of her own after Oberschmidt led off the bottom of the third with a single. Teague got Weber to pop up and struck our Reinebefore getting Guillory to pop up to first to end the inning.

Riverside threatened in the fifth as Bourgeois led off with a single and was sacrificed to second by Trepagnier. But Martin came back to strike outRemondet and Lambert to end the inning.

St. Charles Catholic looked to tie the score in the bottom of the sixth asGuillory led off the inning with a single down the left field line. ButTeague stranded her there as she struck out Shannon Dolive, got Martin to pop up to short and Casey Faust to fly out to left to end the inning.

Riverside had a chance to extend its lead in the top of the seventh as Bourgeois singled to right and went to second on a wild pitch with one out.

Martin then bear down and struck out Amie Graugnard looking and Remondet swinging to get out of the inning.

Martin went the distance, giving up six hits, while striking out six and walking none in improving to 19-7 on the season. Teague (24-7) also wentthe route, giving up five hits while striking out seven.

“Tanya pitched an exceptional ballgame,” Hruska said.

Oberschmidt said playing a familiar opponent may have taken away some of the nervousness of playing in a championship game.

“It was a weird feeling,” Oberschmidt said. “It didn’t feel like a stateplay-off game. We were pretty much equal. Whoever played the best gamewas going to win. We knew it was going to be tough game.”

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