Rebels off to Sulphur
Published 11:45 pm Friday, April 20, 2012
By RYAN ARENA
RESERVE — It wasn’t the start Riverside wanted to see with a trip to Sulphur on the line: falling behind 3-0 at home to a hot DeQuincy team on an eight game winning streak.
But all season long, Kristy Hebert has talked of the maturity of her team. It was on display Thursday, as the Rebels rallied to take a decisive 7-3 regional round victory, securing a trip to the state softball tournament.
“I wasn’t happy with giving up three to start,” said Riverside coach Kristy Hebert. “But to respond like we did is very encouraging to me. It’s a sign of maturity. They wanted it and they showed it in all three phases.”
The Rebels will face the winner of Iota and Mamou in the state quarterfinals next weekend.
Taylor Terrio went 4-for-4, Megan Stein drove in two runs and Destin Vicknair earned a win after allowing just two baserunners — one on an error — in the last five innings of play.
“We knew we had to score runs,” said Vicknair of the early deficit. “If we don’t, it’s the last game we’ll play. We had to jump back into it.”
Added Terrio, “I knew that I didn’t want this to be our last game. I had to do what I could to get some hits and help my team.”
Hebert noted after the bracket came out that she felt DeQuincy (16-8) was underseeded and that the 13th seeded Tigers were a particularly tough draw as a potential second round foe. That thought process was validated in the first inning. Taylor Richard and Lauren Perkins each singled with one out and were brought home when Darci Bonin launched a towering shot over the right field wall for a three-run home run. A pair of errors and a single followed, but the Rebels kept DeQuincy from inflicting further damage.
“It wasn’t time to hang our heads, as I told them,” said Hebert. “We’ll have to chop the lead down one at-bat at a time.”
Immediately, Riverside (23-8) answered in their first chance to bat. Taylor Terrio doubled to right-center, then Toni Hebert reached on an infield hit. DeQuincy pitcher Jaylee George got Vicknair and Katie Bailey out in succession, but Stein singled to bring home a run; the throw to first was mishandled and another run came across to make it 3-2.
Terrio came up big again in the second inning. Carleigh Trosclair reached with two outs and Terrio tied the game on a triple to deep center, making it 3-3 in the second inning.
“(Terrio) was unbelievable today,” said Coach Hebert.
The Rebels took a two-run lead in the third after Vicknair led off with a double. Bailey’s sacrifice bunt gave Stein a chance to put the Rebels ahead, which she did by lacing an RBI single to center. Jenna Roussel and Hailey Tassin each singled before a run scored on an error — a throw from catcher to pitcher went high into the outfield.
“I think once we came back on them, they might have got a little down on themselves,” said Vicknair.
Terrio led off the fourth with a single, then advanced all the way from first to third on a bunt by Hebert, not hesitating while rounding second. Vicknair singled to bring her home and make it 6-3. Bailey singled and Roussel doubled two batters later to make it 7-3.
Vicknair retired the side in order in each of the next three innings and the last 11 batters she faced overall.
The Rebels are now three wins away from securing the big prize.
“It feels great to go back,” said Terrio. “But we want to win it all.”