Surging Lady Rams beat Bulldogs

Published 11:45 pm Friday, March 22, 2013



EDGARD – West St. John softball coach Brandon Dumas said that his sport hasn’t always been considered a big deal in WSJ athletics, but that the Lady Rams are working to change that.

They’re making long strides to toward doing so.

West St. John captured two District 9-1A victories this week to run their season-long winning streak to five games, dropping White Castle Thursday, 14-12, and East Iberville Tuesday, 24-0.

“We’re definitely gaining more and more confidence each game,” said Dumas. “Last year, we had a group of young ladies with ability, but they lacked confidence. They’re producing some big hits for us at the plate and some good defensive plays. The girls are starting to believe they can play with anyone if they play at their highest level.”

West St. John (6-7, 2-3) began the season with seven losses in eight games, with a shorthanded roster depleted by the school’s run to the state championship game in girls basketball; many of the Ram softball team’s key players also play basketball.

But since then, West St. John has looked like a far different team, outscoring its five opponents 108-28 during this win streak.

The Rams built a 9-2 lead in the first four innings of their game at White Castle and held off a late charge by the Bulldogs, who scored eight runs in the final three innings.

Treshaun Trench went 2 for 4 with three RBIs for West St. John. Tajh Melancon went 2 for 4 with two RBIs. Sydnei Young moved her record to 5-1, going the complete game and allowing six hits. She struck out five.

The Rams collected 10 hits on the day.

The win avenged a 17-1 loss to White Castle in the first meeting between the teams on March 5 at West St. John.

“We knew we were much better than we showed on that day,” said Dumas. “They’ve got a great pitcher in (Skylar O’Bear), but we knew if we could put a bat on the ball and see what the defense could do behind her, we had a chance to do some things.

“This was a big win for us. It gives us a chance to compete in this district. We knew White Castle was one of the better teams.”

Against East Iberville, the Rams made quick work of their opposition, scoring 17 runs in the first inning. The game was called via the 15 run rule in the third inning.

Young tossed a one-hitter with eight strikeouts. Harley Morris went 4 for 4 with four RBIs.

Young won her last five starts and her return after missing the start of the season has been a major factor in the Rams’ winning ways.

“Without a doubt, she’s been one of the biggest reasons for this turnaround,” said Dumas. “She’s doing a great job, throwing complete games and doing a much better job fighting through adversity. I’m definitely proud of her.”

West St. John has its most stern test of the season Monday as it takes the road to face perennial district champion and state contender Ascension Catholic (14-4). Then, on Wednesday, the Rams return home for another district date with Ascension Christian (7-5). The latter will be another chance for the Rams to return serve on an early defeat.

The Ascension Catholic game, Dumas said, is not one he’s willing to concede to the favorites.

“We’re going there to compete, to try and pull an upset,” he said.

“We feel like there’s something good happening here. There’s been some excitement around school … we’re trying to keep that going and say, ‘Hey, we’re here too.’”