Lady Bulldogs shut out Wolves to open playoffs

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, April 20, 1999

MICHAEL KIRAL / L’Observateur / April 20, 1999

LUTCHER – One down, one to go.

The defending Class 3A state champion Lutcher Lady Bulldogs took the first step toward returning to the state tournament Monday afternoon, shutting down Redemptorist, 7-0, in the bi-district playoffs.

The Lady Bulldogs (22-5) now travel to Albany Friday at 4:30 p.m. for theregional playoffs. Albany defeated Sacred Heart, 7-5, Monday. The winnerof that game will advance to the state tournament in Alexandria next Friday.

Redemptorist completed its season at 15-15.

Lutcher has advanced to Alexandria five of the six years John Bentivegna has been the head coach and have not lost a first round playoff game during that time.

The Lady Bulldogs looked to quickly extend that streak Monday afternoon, taking a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second against Redemptorist starter Jodi Silvio.

Michelle Roussel opened the inning with a double to the wall in left center field, advanced to third on a wild pitch and came in on Katie Cashio’s fly ball to center.

Lutcher made it 3-0 in the third. With one out, Jenee Weber just missputting one out to right-center, hitting one off the wall just under the yellow padding for a double. Becky Lambert followed with a single,sending Weber to third.

One out and a steal by Lambert later, Candice Millet lined a single over the second base bag, plating Weber and Lambert.

Redemptorist threatened in the top of the fourth as Ashley Hicks reached on an error by Lutcher starter Erin Hymel and Courtney Sheets singled to center with two outs.

Hymel then got Tracee Valiet to ground out to Roussel at short who flipped to Cashio at third for the force out. It would be the only time the Wolveswould have a runner reach second base.

Lutcher added two runs in each of the fourth and fifth innings. CindyGuidry led off the fourth with a single up the middle and Cashio followed with a walk. Toni Riley then reached as her grounder bounced off firstbaseman Ruth Rickey’s glove to load the bases.

Hymel then hit a sacrifice fly to center to score courtesy runner Kassie Waguespack. Riley got caught between first and second but was able to getback to first as Cashio advanced to third. Riley then stole second withCashio coming in score as Valiet overthrew third trying to pick her off, giving the Lady Bulldogs a 5-0 lead.

With one out in the fifth, Millet singled to center and Roussel walked. Bothrunners then moved up on a double steal. One out later, Cashio lined asingle to center, plating both runners to make it 7-0.

Hymel cruised after the fourth inning, retiring the final 10 batters she faced. Hymel allowed two hits in the contest while walking none andstriking out 11 to improve to 17-4 on the season.

Bentivegna said being the defending state champions can work either way.

“It can work for you and also against you,” Bentivegna said, pointing to the Wolves. “It can only motivate them. They are going to step it up anotch. Everybody we face is going to be playing above their heads.”But at the same time, Bentivegna said he is also hoping that the team’s experience of playing in the state tournament can help it get back there.

“They understand what it takes to win,” Bentivegna said.

“They understand the mental part of the game.”

Grace King 10, Destrehan 5

METAIRIE – Grace King jumped out to a 9-0 lead against Destrehan Monday afternoon on its way to a 10-5 victory in the bi-district playoffs.

The Irish scored three runs in the first and added six in the second.

Destrehan came back with a five-run third but was held in check the rest of the way by Irish starter Jaime Sullivan.

Kim Bierman, Stephanie Poche and Holly Gagliano each had two hits for the Lady Cats.

Grace King (25-4) advances to the regional playoffs where they will play the winner of the Bourgeois-St. Amant bi-district game. Destrehan endedits season at 11-18.

St. Charles Catholic 7, Sibley 1 SIBLEY – Marci Martin pitched a three-hitter and had four hits at the plate to lead St. Charles Catholic Lady Comets to a 7-1 victory at Sibley in thebi-district playoffs Monday afternoon.

The defending Class 2A champions advance to the regional round where they will face Ouachita Christian, which received a bye in the first round, Friday at 3:30 p.m. in Monroe.Joanie Kepler added three hits for the Lady Comets who improved to 22-10 on the season.

Sibley, the District 1-2A runners-up, finished its season at 15-9.

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