Lady Rebels lose in heartbreaker, 4-3

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 4, 2005


Sports Editor

SULPHUR-They may not have had the final result that they wanted on the scoreboard, but the effort of the Riverside Lady Rebels in their state quarterfinal game against the South Beauregard Knights Friday afternoon was that of a champion.

Taking on the defending Class 2A Champion, the Lady Rebels were defeated in extra innings, 4-3, ending the season for Riverside.

Continuing their hot-hitting that got them into the state tournament, the Lady Rebels pushed across a pair of runs in the top of the first inning.

With two outs, senior shortstop Daphne Zimmer reached on an error. After her senior teammate Jenna St. Amant lined a single into right-field, the two would score on a double from Lori Bourgeois to give Riverside a 2-0 lead.

After Nicole Poirrier retired the first six batters in order, South Beauregard finally pushed across a pair of runs in the bottom of the third inning.

With one out, second baseman Amanda Richard reached on an infield single and stole second base.

After Poirrier struck out Sam Jagneaux, lead-off batter Leigh Ann Peshoff lined a single into left field. She would later steal second base.

With runners on second and third, centerfielder Brittany Buller drove in one on an infield single and Peshoff would score on a Lady Rebel error.

Poirrier would settle down after the rough third inning, retiring five of the next six batters that she would face.

Riverside had a chance to take a late-inning lead in the fifth.

With one out, Lisa Lambert drew a walk and stole second base.

Marci Millet reached on an error, but was later retired on a fielder’s choice from Zimmer.

St. Amant came to the plate with runners at second and third, but Jagneaux, who had replaced starter Holly Eades in the circle, got the senior to groundout to end the inning.

South Beauregard took advantage of their late-inning chance in the bottom of the sixth inning as they were able to push across a run.

Buller lead off the inning with a single and advanced on a Lady Rebel error. After Poirrier retired Lakin Cryer, Buller would score from second base on a controversial RBI sacrifice fly by Book.

Down to the final three out of their season, the Lady Rebels showed they still had plenty enough effort left in the tank, pushing across the game-tying run.

With one out, Lisa Lambert tripled into rightfield. She would score on an RBI groundout by Millet.

After Poirrier forced South Beauregard to strand a runner on third base in the bottom of the seventh, the Lady Rebels had a golden opportunity to seize the lead in extra innings.

Back-to-back singles by St. Amant and Lori Bourgeois gave the Lady Rebels runners on the corners.

However, Jagneaux again stepped up when it mattered the most in the circle for South Beauregard, retiring Poirrier, Brittany St. Pierre and Brooke Bourgeois in order to squash the Riverside threat.

South Beauregard jumped quickly to take advantage in the bottom of the eighth. Brittany Buller lead off the inning with a single and advanced to second on a error. She would later advance to third base on a sacrifice bunt.

The Riverside season would come to an end one batter later as Brook lined a screamer off of Poirrier’s chest, scoring Buller and giving South Beauregard the extra-inning victory.

“We talked about one thing before we left for the game,” Riverside Head Coach Mickey Roussel said. “From January 2nd to today, I don’t know how the script would have been written, but today would have been how we wanted the script to end by coming to Sulphur. Mentally and physically we did it all year. The only thing we talked about was heart. We wanted to play this game with heart.

“If you didn’t’ enjoy this game, it is a shame that somebody had to lose. I know that is a cliche’, but South Beauregard did what they had to do to win the game. We hung in there and had our fair share of chances.”

Preparing all week for the hard-throwing Eades, Roussel said his squad had their troubles early with Jagneaux in the circle.

“We geared up for their number one pitcher and it looked like we had her number pretty good,” Roussel said. “She tired so the coach went to the left-hander..”

Disappointed for his team, Roussel said he could not have ask for a better effort from his squad.

“We’ll be okay,” Roussel said. “These kids gave it everything that they had. The seniors on this team were apart of a state championship in 2002. You can’t ask for more than that. Do you know how many people play this game that never even make the state tournament? It’s tough right now, but we will be okay.”

One of the seniors that played her last game in a Lady Rebels uniform, St. Amant said she cherish her four years at Riverside.

“I can’t ask for a better senior year than this,” a tearful St. Amant said. “A lot of people didn’t expect us to get here and we got here. I loved playing with my teammates and for Coach Roussel. I can’t ask for anything more. We played our hearts out.

“All we had was heart and we played with it. Being apart of Riverside Academy, not only the school, but athletics as well is an amazing thing. Being a 2A school, we are very close knit. I know everyone at my school by name. Being apart of this softball team was awesome.

“Looking back on these four years at all the memories that we had, we are all best friends. The underclassmen will go further next year and the year after and the year after. Tradition never graduates.”

Zimmer echoed her fellow senior’s comments.

“It felt like yesterday was my freshman season,” Zimmer said. “Now I am leaving and graduating. I can’t believe that it is really all over.

“We lost a lot of seniors from last year’s squad and a lot of people didn’t think we could make it back here. We went out there and just showed how much heart we had.”