HHS’ deBruler named 5A MVP

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 8, 2011



HAHNVILLE – The Louisiana Sports Writers’ Association’s Class 5A baseball and softball teams were released over the weekend and – in a turn of events that should come as a surprise to noone — Hahnville’s state championship softball squad is well represented.

Tigers’ senior first baseman Elise deBruler leads the All-State squad, selected as its outstanding player after helping to lead Hahnville to its first-ever state championship.

She is joined on the team by two teammates, pitcher Hannah Haydel and second baseman Courtney Dutreix.

On the baseball side, Destrehan is represented by left fielder Zach Schexnaydre.

deBruler hit .480 with 29 RBIs and four home runs for Hahnville. The Tigers went 32-3 and defeated Denham Springs 6-4 in the state championship game to finish the job, only a year after losing a heartbreaker in the seventh inning to St. Thomas More in the state championship game.

“After losing in the state championship last year, I knew what it would take to get that last win. We all did,” said deBruler. “Just constantly remembering that feeling, knowing we didn’t want that to be us again. It gave us that extra ‘oomph’ to play harder.”

DeBruler said that when the final out was recorded, it validated all of the word that she and her teammates put forth.

“Just working for it over my whole career here, to finally accomplish it … it’s just amazing. We finally did it. Now I hope they can do it again next year.”

“She’s had four great years for us,” said Hahnville coach Kenneth Vial. “Always hit over .350, always led us in walks. She hit .480 this year and the amazing thing is, it came when nobody would even pitch to her. She got on base at a .585 clip. When you get on six out of 10 times, what a boost to your team it is … and just as big is her leadership. She doesn’t say much, but the example she set went a long way for the rest of our players.”

Haydel had big shoes to step into this season, replacing All-State pitcher Lauren Candies, but she was more than up to the task. Haydel made every pitch for Hahnville this season to earn 32 wins and struck out 205 batters. She also boasted a 4-1 strikeout-to-walk-ratio. On a team that committed just 36 errors all season over 35 games, that meant few baserunners for opposing teams. And that meant Hahnville was very tough to beat.

“She’s a kid who just gets stronger as the game goes along,” said Vial. “The longer the game goes, the hotter it gets, the better she is. And when you watch her play, you start to appreciate the fact that nothing rattles her. (In the state semifinals) she gets a line drive right off her chest, she gets up and blows it off, finishes the game.”

All Dutreix did this season was win the MVP award of the state championship game after batting .450 this season. The junior has been among the team’s leading hitters over the last two seasons while leading in stolen bases and finishing second in doubles.

“Since she’s come here, there’s been no better player. She can do it all, hit for average, play defense, slap it, bunt it … I watch the college World Series and say, ‘She can play with those girls … she’s going to be a very good college player.”

Schexnaydre was one of the most feared hitters in the state, hitting .392 and hitting 11 home runs, two off of the school record. He tallied 35 RBIs and slugged .753 with an on-base percentage of .512.

“He showed tremendous power early in his career, but this year he showed patience,” said Destrehan coach Marty Luquet. “He put it together and you saw the big numbers. He’s always been a hard worker and he was a guy who did a lot of work off on his own, at home … he spent a lot of time swinging the bat.”