Comets roll past Panthers, now move on to Sulphur

Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 23, 2011



LAPLACE – St. Charles scored a pair of first inning runs against Sterlington Thursday and never looked back — all the way to Sulphur, in fact.

The seventh-seeded Comets rolled to an 8-0 win over No. 10 Sterlington in a regional round playoff game, officially punching their ticket to the state softball tournament.

“Sulphur’s always expected here,” said St. Charles third baseman Jaymie Remondet. “After losing Courtney (Western), our team was looked down upon before the season. They didn’t expect us to go back. We knew we could do it, but we had to come out and prove it.”

St. Charles will face the winner of the regional game between No. 2 John Curtis and No. 18 Sacred Heart-Ville Platte, setting up a potential rematch between the district rival Comets and Patriots. The teams split a pair of games during district play.

St. Charles eliminated Sterlington for the second straight season, after knocking the Panthers out in the quarterfinals a year ago.

Heather Orillion hit a two-run home run and Megan Louque pitched a two-hit shutout to lead the Comets, who scored their eight runs all in the first four innings of play.

Centerfielder Kati Duhe set the tone for the day on Sterlington’s very first at-bat of the game, making a spectacular diving catch to rob Taylor Adams of a likely extra-base hit.

“She hit a rocket, but (Duhe) made just an unbelievable play,” said Sterlington coach Boyd Cole. “You never know how things go if that gets through. Runner on third to start the game, no outs … it was a game-changing type of play.”

St. Charles didn’t record a hit in the opening frame, but two Sterlington mistakes proved costly to the Panthers.

Kati Duhe led things off with a walk, then a dropped ball at second on a ball hit by Chelsea Loupe denied Sterlington an out. Sterlington (20-9) retired Louque and Emily Triche, but a throw on a grounder hit by Raven Becnel sailed wide of first base and brought two runners around to score, making it 2-0.

“Against a team like St. Charles, you just can’t make those mistakes,” said Cole.

“It allowed them to relax.”

Said Remondet, “I think that got the jitters out.”

After Louque retired the side in order in the top of the second, St. Charles had a chance to bust things open in the bottom half when Karli Terrio was hit by a pitch and Orillion and Duhe drew walks to load the bases.

But Loupe grounded into a fielder’s choice and Louque grounded out to end the threat.

Again, SCC retired Sterlington in order, the last out in the third coming off of an impressive stop and throw by Jaymie Remondet at third base.

“We executed to perfection defensively,” said St. Charles coach Ty Monica. “We made just about every play. This was one of our better defensive games of the year, without a doubt.”

The Comet bats went to work immediately thereafter. Triche singled, then Becnel doubled. Remondet followed her defensive effort by blasting a two-run double to left, making it 4-0. Katie Terrio singled home another run to make it 5-0. Then Orillion stepped into the box and launched a shot over the left field wall, making it 7-0 and energizing the Comets dugout. That chased pitcher Sarah Gandy from the game.

“The last time up she pitched me inside,” said Orillion. “I knew what she’d throw and I took advantage.”

St. Charles added one more run in the fourth, after Becnel led off with a triple to deep center. SCC scored on a double steal, with Jessica Mire taking home.

Louque struck out three on the day and didn’t allow much strong contact.

“She did a great job staying away from barrels,” said Monica. “Megan did a great job.”

Now, the Comets return to Sulphur, a place they’ve now reached for seven straight seasons.

“It feels great to go back home,” said Orillion.