Playoff fever in the air

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 21, 2004

By GEORGE MAHL – Sports Editor

It is that time of year again. Time for coaches, players and family to begin thinking about the road to Sulphur, which is where the state softball tournament is going to be held. It is quite possible that we could end up having the same amount of teams this year in Sulphur as we did last year, which was four. It is concievable that Hahnville, Lutcher, St. Charles Catholic and Riverside Academy will be seeing action this year in the small town west of Lake Charles. The Lady Tigers feature the pitching of Ashley Simoneaux, who recently threw a two-hitter against Destrehan. Speaking of Destrehan, the Lady Wildcats have had a successful year, finishing in second place in their district. The Lady Wildcats are led by pitcher Rachel Kelly.

However, district 5A, which may be the toughest softball classification in Louisiana, features St. Amant, who is ranked in the top 10 in the nation, Comeaux, who sported an incredible 27-0-1 record at one point, Lafayette and Dominican. Lafayette defeated Hahnville last year in the quarterfinals of the state playoffs. Other strong contenders in 5A include Chapelle and West Monroe.

I have enjoyed watching Riverside and St. Charles Catholic this year. It is not to say that I did not like to watch anyone else, its just that I like watching good pitching performances. I saw several good pitching performances this year from St. Charles Catholic starter Mary Clement and All-State returnee Megan Warner for Riverside Academy.

From a sports writers view, it has been fun because the games have been quick and not dragged out like some other games I have covered. I really should not complain about the length of the game since I do not write for a daily newspaper. It is not like I have a deadline or anything like that to worry about.

One thing I have really enjoyed about covering softball this year was meeting parents that I had never met before. Prior to this year, I had never met Mary Clement’s parents, Kayla Rebaldo’s mom and several others. I am glad Kayla’s mother has forgiven me because about a year ago I wrote Amanda Rebaldo’s name where Kayla Rebaldo’s name was supposed to be. Amanda is Kayla’s older sister. At least I think.

The weather cooperated during much of the season as well. Very few games had to be rescheduled because of inclimate weather. I am looking forward to seeing the remainder of the softball playoffs, as well as the start of the baseball playoffs, which begin next week.

Good luck to all teams still in the hunt.