Rams bats quieted by Eagles

Published 12:00 am Friday, March 5, 2010



EDGARD – West St. John’s softball team is known for its big bats in Class 1A, but the arms of Central Catholic rendered the bats silent.

The Eagles captured a 13-1 non-district victory on Wednesday in five innings by the 10-run rule to improve to 7-4-1 on the season.

“It was an important win for us because West St. John’s another Class 1A team, and they’ve been to the playoffs in each of the last two years,” said Central Catholic coach David Irwin. “We haven’t been to the playoffs in six years, and that’s where we’ve set our sights.”

Central Catholic starter Olivia Crawford went four innings in earning the win, allowing no earned runs, three hits and two walks. Crawford struck out five.

West St. John coach Brandon Dumas said he thought he’d see more aggressiveness from his team at the plate.

“I thought we were trying to draw walks as opposed to swinging the bats,” said Dumas. “Compared to the way we played against St. James, we didn’t put the pressure on them to play defense.”

Central Catholic led 1-0 in the first inning, but West St. John (2-1) quickly tied the game in the bottom half. After Brittany Tuco reached on an error, she stole second and third before scoring on a single by Chasity Everson.

The Eagles asserted themselves again in the second, this time scoring four runs. After Carly Orlando reached and advanced to third on an error, Crawford hit a sacrifice grounder to bring her in. Celine Flores walked, stole second and scored on Caroline Byrne’s single. Byrne would eventually score on an error, and Hailee Thomas’ ground rule RBI double made it 5-1.

WSJ couldn’t get on track. Its best chance to answer came in the third inning when Taj Howard walked and Tuco lined a single up the middle with one out. But Crawford struck out the next two batters to escape any damage.

Amanda Barron’s RBI single in the fourth extended Central Catholic’s lead to 6-1.

In the top of the fifth, the Eagles slammed the door, scoring seven runs, highlighted by Orlando’s double that resulted in four runs — two RBIs, and two via error.

“We missed on a few plays and let it get out of hand, Dumas said. “Even so our defense has improved a lot from the double header to start the season. We’ll have to keep getting better.”

Howard and Janade Williams each tripled for West St. John.

Dumas said he felt Central Catholic was a tough foe but that his girls were capable of a better showing.

“I definitely think we can play with them,” said Dumas. “And I know these girls are prepared to do what it takes.”