Onto the diamond with title dreams

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 27, 2005

It’s the fun part of the year now.

Everyone may look forward to going to the Dome or the Cajundome in football and basketball, but if you ask me I can’t wait for Sulphur and Zephyr Field.

That’s where they decide the state champions in high school softball and baseball.

As was the case with football and boys basketball, the River Region has their fair share of participants.

St. Charles Catholic and Riverside will take their talents to Sulphur starting on Friday to try and bring home state championships in Class 2A and 3A.

Both teams are very talented and more importantly playing their best softball when it matters the most, which is now.

So what do I think they need to do to come out holding trophies Saturday night?

Just a couple of things.

First let’s talk about the Lady Rebels of Riverside.

As with all teams and this includes St. Charles Catholic, pitching will be key for any chance that Riverside has to take home the title in Class 2A. Young fireballer Nicole Poirrier will have the duty of hopefully pitching three games in two days for the Lady Rebels and they will go as far as her right arm will take them.

The other major key for Riverside’s chances of success is centerfielder Lisa Lambert. One of the best fielders on the team, Lambert also provides the spark to start the high-powered Lady Rebels offense. Finding any way to get on base, Lambert reaching allows the Daphne Zimmer’s and other big hitters in the Rebels order to drive in runs.

Riverside’s squad is very young, but they do have several players that were apart of the 2002 state championship squad so the Lady Rebels will have a great chance to win.

Lady Comets have specific things they need to do

Meanwhile in LaPlace, it has been night and day since the start of the post-season for David Lowry’s St. Charles Lady Comets squad.

In their two playoffs victories, St. Charles Catholic has not looked anything like the squad that concluded the regular season. The intensity and in turn quality of play has increased 1000-percent.

So what are the keys to the Lady Comets success?

Pitching for one.


Mary Clement must be on her game if St. Charles Catholic is to have a solid chance as success. Clement does not have to be perfect, but she must keep her squad in games.

The other big key to the success of the Lady Comets is a trio of hitters. Left-fielder Kayla Rebaldo, third baseman Paige Braud and designated player Lauren Coniglio must all continue their hot-hitting for St. Charles Catholic.

Outside of her surprise lead-off homer, Braud has been the table-setter for the Lady Comets just like Lambert at Riverside. Whether it is by bunting, walking, or a good ole base hit, Braud has seemed to get on base a majority of the time that she is at the plate.

Perhaps her squad’s best outfielder, Rebaldo is the closet that the Lady Comets have to what college coaches call a “slap-hitter.” A left-hander with great speed, Rebaldo gives St. Charles Catholic almost another leadoff hitter midway through the lineup.

Meanwhile, Coniglio is quickly becoming one of the best power hitters in the entire parish. Only a freshman, she is the Lady Comets main source of runs driven in and if she is hitting the ball it means that St. Charles is winning.

The other effect of an efficient Coniglio at the plate is if she is hitting the ball well, opposing teams will pitch around her and in turn Rebaldo and Braud will see even more pitches to hit.