Vicknair leads Rebels past Vandebilt Catholic

Published 11:45 pm Tuesday, March 5, 2013

RESERVE — Riverside continued its run of dominant early season play on the softball diamond Thursday, toppling visiting Vandebilt Catholic 9-1 for their fifth win in six games.
Destin Vicknair led the way for the Rebels (5-1)both with her arm and her bat. The senior went 3 for 3 with a double and five RBIs. She earned the win on the mound by going seven innings and allowing four hits and one run. She walked no batters and struck out nine.
Taylor Terrio, Toni Hebert and Megan Stein each went 2 for 3. Erica Delaneuville went 1 for 3 with a double and two RBIs. Katie Bailey and Carleigh Trosclair each registered an RBI.
Riverside broke things open with three runs in each of the fifth and sixth innings.
“After we went up 3-0, they made a little challenge and responded,” said Riverside coach Kristy Hebert. “In the fifth inning, we came out swinging the bats and put things away. I thought we showed a little mental toughness there.
“Vandebilt Catholic lost some seniors from last year’s team, but that’s still a quality group. It was a good win.”
Vandebilt Catholic dropped to 4-3 with the loss.
The Rebels have outscored their competition by 40 runs so far this year and have scored nine runs or more four times over their six games. Conversely, Vicknair and the Rebel defense have allowed more than three runs just once.
Hebert said that this is likely the best start the team has had to the season in a long time, due to the quality of the team’s opposition so far. In addition to Vandebilt Catholic, Riverside has bested perennial contenders in Brusly and Mount Carmel already, those three wins coming by a combined 24-7 score. The team’s only loss is to defending Class 4A state champion Teurlings Catholic. The latter three games all came at the Brusly tournament.
Tuesday, Riverside had 2012 Class 5A runner-up Hahnville slated to visit Reserve, while today the Rebels are to visit St. Amant, a 5A semifinalist last season.
It’s been a schedule difficult by even the standards of Hebert, a coach who routinely schedules tough predistrict games.
“I was very happy to get into the Brusly tournament,” said Hebert. “I was glad to be able to schedule Hahnville and St. Amant for regular season games.
“I just felt that it was my responsibility to go out and find some of the best pitchers in the state for our team to face. We’re in a classification with John Curtis and Katie Brignac, with Evangel … those are the teams we’ve lost out to the last few seasons.
“So the more of those kinds of pitchers we can face in the regular season, the better off we’ll be.”
The team’s success at the plate is nothing less than encouraging for the coach, who recently shuffled the lineup to move Vicknair, the team’s perennial leading power hitter, to the second spot.
“Teams have looked to walk her and pitch around her, so I moved her up in the order to make that more difficult,” said Hebert. “Knowing we’ve got Katie Bailey, Erica Delaneuville and Hailey Tassin behind her, and all of them have home runs already, it makes it tough on other teams to put her on. Taylor (Terrio) has done a great job leading off. Our lineup has done a good job so far.”