Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 30, 2011



Boasting just one loss, Riverside has looked the part of a team on a mission all season. But the Lady Rebels made their loudest statement yet this past weekend.

Riverside toppled four teams that entered the weekend ranked in Class 2A’s top 16 and two ranked in its top five at the South Beauregard tournament, besting Kinder (No. 3), DeQuincy (No. 5), South Beauregard (No. 11) and Sacred Heart-Ville Platte (No. 16).

The Rebels (19-1) dominated, outscoring the four teams by a combined 24-1 margin, and cemented their standing as the top ranked team in Class 2A by power points.

“I saw a difference in their demeanor on the way up there,” said Riverside coach Kristy Hebert. “We had the two big wins over John Curtis and St. Charles, but I felt like we went into a lull after that. We were finding ways to win but not playing to our potential.

“But this weekend, we set a goal to go 4-0, and you could just sense something different about them. Maybe it was the air. I don’t know. But it’s what I’ve been waiting to see from them.”

It set the stage for a monumental clash between top-ranked Riverside and second-ranked John Curtis yesterday in Reserve. Results and details will be in the next issue of L’Observateur.

Riverside set the tone for its weekend early when it opened against Kinder (18-7). The Rebels rapped out 13 hits and took a 6-0 lead in the first three innings before closing Kinder out in five, 9-1. (All games went five innings because of a time limit).

Shea LaFountain went 2 for 3 with a home run and two RBIs. Kori Bourgeois and Katie Bailey each went 2 for 3 with a double and a RBI. Taylor Terrio went 3 for 3 with an RBI.

Destin Vicknair tossed a one-hitter against the third ranked Yellowjackets. She struck out seven in a complete game effort and earned her first of four wins at the tourney.

Riverside scored two runs in each of the first three innings.

“After we scored two in the first, we stressed that we aren’t satisfied with two,” said Hebert. “Let’s put some across every inning. We wanted to set the tone early both defensively and offensively, and we did a good job of that.”

Much like it did against Kinder, Riverside scored in each of the first four innings against host South Beauregard (11-11), highlighting the effort with a five-run third inning to take a 8-1 win.

Megan Stein went 2 for 2 with three RBIs. Bailey went 3 for 3 with an RBI. Bourgeois went 2 for 3 with an RBI. Terrio went 2 for 3.

Vicknair went four innings, struck out six and allowed no hits. Chelsey Stein closed the game out in the fifth.

The ultimate difference between Riverside and DeQuincy (20-7) took just a single batter to materialize. LaFountain led off the game with a home run, one that would stand as the only score of the game in a 1-0 Rebels win.

She collected two of Riverside’s three hits, including a double. Vicknair went the whole way and notched her second one-hitter of the weekend to go with her shutout.

“I felt like it showed a lot of maturity to get the one run and hold that lead,” said Hebert. “After we came out and didn’t out any more runs up for a couple of innings, the girls came back in and said ‘We have to back our pitcher up.’”

Against Sacred Heart-Ville Platte (10-9), the Rebels played shorthanded on Saturday as Riverside’s prom was scheduled that night and four starters were unavailable to play. Nonetheless, Riverside captured a 6-1 lead on the back of a five-run third inning.

Vicknair pitched a two-hitter, struck out seven and also had a big day at the plate. She went 2 for 3 with three RBIs.

Hebert said that the tournament was a great way to kick off the season’s stretch run, and now it’s a matter of the Rebels maintaining this level of focus through the end of the regular season, the playoffs and the state softball tournament in Sulphur.

“We’ve said all season that it’s not about who we play, but how we play ourselves,” said Hebert. “I was very happy with how we played. Now we just have to be consistent. If we can maintain that level of play, we’ll get to where we want to be at the end.”