Crusaders rally past Rams

Published 12:00 am Saturday, March 19, 2011



EDGARD – Under coach Brandon Dumas, West St. John has built a reputation as a team that knows how to rally back from a deficit.

But on Tuesday, district foe Christian Life flipped the script.

West St. John saw a 9-3 lead disappear as the Crusaders took advantage of a series of errors and wore down the Rams’ pitching, coming up with a decisive 21-9 win at WSJ in a District 8-1A game.

Christian Life scored 18 runs in the final two innings of play.

“It’s beyond disappointing,” said West St. John coach Brandon Dumas. “We know what we have and what we’re capable of. In the second half of the game, we just laid an egg. We let things get away from us.”

Alexis Ambeau got Christian Life (2-9, 1-1) started in the fifth inning, leading off with a single. West St. John starter Sydnei Young struck out Heather Maudlin, but Danyelle Hodges followed with a walk. Haleigh Giglio reached on a dropped fly ball to load the bases and Erin Higgins walked to force home a run, making it 9-4. Cara Alise did the same to make it 9-5. Then Amy Langlois hit a ball to deep left field to drive in all three baserunners, drawing CLA within one. Finally, a passed ball brought home the tying run. Young would notch a strikeout with the bases again loaded to end the inning.

“When we made two errors in a row, it just snowballed,” said Dumas. “Once we make an error, sometimes it gets contagious. We have to cut down on errors and make the routine plays or else we’ll see more things like this.”

Langlois, the Crusaders’ starting pitcher retired three of the four Ram batters in the fifth.

“She hit that ball and she got excited,” said Christian Life coach Gordy Montagnino. “It got her adrenaline going and she didn’t give anything up after that. They had us whipped early. But we finally stepped up and did something.”

The first four batters of the sixth inning walked to bring home the go-ahead run – before the fourth, Young was lifted for reliever Donasia Bell. An error made it 11-9, and Lexie Langley’s groundout plated her team’s 12th run. Another error led to two more runs scoring, and three singles in a row by Maulden, Hodges and Giglio made it 16-9.

Christian Life would score five more runs in the inning, capping things with a two-run single by Langley. West St. John (2-5, 0-3) would not score in the bottom of the sixth, ending the game by the 10-run rule.

“It’s huge for us,” said Montagnino. “Just to go home happy off of a win. Getting the monkey off of our back.”

West St. John trailed 3-0 in the first inning but scratched across a run in the bottom half on a Taj Howard RBI that brought home Ormoni Favorite.

West St. John scored six runs in the bottom of the second to seemingly take control. After an error led to a run, making it 3-2, Bell drove in the tying run.

An errant throw to first made it 4-3, and an RBI groundout by Jennika Jones made it 5-3. Howard drove in another run on a single, and another run scored on a Chasity Everson single and a throwing error.

The Rams plated two more runs in the bottom of the third, on a passed ball and an RBI by Favorite.

“We still have a long district season ahead of us,” said Dumas. “We’re not yet halfway through the first round. We’ll need to step things up. But we feel like our time is coming.”