Late Lions surge puts away West St. John

Published 11:45 pm Friday, March 29, 2013



EDGARD – West St. John rallied after falling behind 8-0 early in its game Wednesday against District 9-1A foe Ascension Christian, but  the Lions’ Victoria Schexnayder’s inside the park home run highlighted a six-run sixth inning that led her team to a 18-6 victory over a surging Rams team.

Schexnayder went 4 for 4 with five RBIs in a game that ACHS won through early patience at the plate and aggressiveness later on. The Lions scored seven second inning runs on the back of four walks and a hit batter, then scored their final 10 runs over a final two innings where the Lions racked up nine hits.

“It took us a few innings to really get going,” said Ascension Christian coach Jessica Cooper. “We had to adjust to their pitcher … once we got ahead, it just became about getting outs. They hit the ball extremely well, so we had to make plays when they were there.”

The win left Ascension Christian tied for third place in the district, behind leader St. John-Plaquemine and second place Ascension Catholic.

West St. John was attempting to pull into a tie for third place. The Rams had won five of six games entering the week before dropping two games to Ascension Catholic on Monday.

WSJ coach Brandon Dumas said that establishing consistency was going to be a primary goal going forward, after allowing two big innings  that contributed to Wednesday’s loss.

“That second inning put us in a hole,” said Dumas. “Against a team that really hits the ball well, that’s always going to really hurt you. We did fight back and I’m proud of that.

“But offensively, it took us some time to get going. We’d get a hit, then strike out. We’d double, then pop one up. We couldn’t string anything together.”

After Schexnayder tripled to plate two runs at the end of the second inning, Ascension Christian led 8-0. West St. John was able to cut the lead in half over the next three innings. Danae Lumar hit a chopper up the middle for an RBI single in the bottom of the second to get the Rams on the board.

In the fourth, WSJ’s Harley Morris led off with a single and Sydnei Young reached on an error. Morris scored on a wild pitch to make it 8-2. Kaieonne Sorapuru walked, then Lumar collected her second RBI on a groundout. Young scored on a passed ball to make it 8-4.

ACHS took advantage of some mistakes by the Ram defense in the fifth, scoring two of its four runs in the inning on a passed ball and an error to make it 12-4.

“We felt like we had it down to 8-4 and were right there. But we made an error and they came back and put four runs on the board,” said Dumas.

Morris doubled home another run in the fifth while Young knocked in the Rams; sixth run to make it 12-6.

But  that was as close as WSJ got. Ascension Catholic scored on a wild pitch to open its scoring in the sixth. Reyna Jones’ RBI double made it 15-6 and Allyson Cambre’s RBI single made it 16-6.

Then Schexnayder socked a ball to deep center field and never looked back, her inside the park home run providing her team’s finishing touch.

“That’s really the only type of home run I’m going to get, so I really wanted it,” said Schexnayder. “We always talk about looking for those when the chance comes up.”

Ascension Christian overcame the loss of its starting pitcher when Cambre left the game with an injury before the fifth inning. She left with her team ahead 12-4.

The Rams have put up some big scoring days this season, but Dumas said that Wednesday’s game showed the areas his team still needs to work on.

“Sometimes you’re gonna have to rely on your defense, because you aren’t always going to score a ton of runs,” said Dumas. “We had a couple of critical errors and  gave them some unearned runs.

“This is a little setback for us. But we’re still pushing for the playoffs. We’ll keep fighting.”

RAMS FALL TWICE TO ASCENSION CATHOLIC – West St. John’s winning streak was stopped at five games Monday as the Rams lost twice to Ascension Catholic in a District 9-1A double header.

But the Rams left with something of a moral victory after falling 17-7 and 19-1 to the Bulldogs (16-4), the fifth ranked team in Class 1A power rankings and the longtime top dog of the district that the two teams call home.

“I’m not sure that we’ve scored seven runs total over the past three years that we’ve played them,” said West St. John coach Brandon Dumas. “We were right there after four innings, down 13-7. I think it surprised (Ascension Catholic) a little bit.”

Tajh Melancon went 3 for 3 with two RBIs and two triples while Treshaun Trench went 3 for 4 with two RBIs for the Rams (6-6).

West St. John is just the fifth team this season to score more than four runs against the Bulldogs, and one of just two 1A schools to top three against them.

The Rams were able to knock starting pitcher Natalie Landry from the game.

“That was a plus for us,” said Dumas, whose Rams are on a pace to shatter the program record in runs scored in a season. “We made five errors in the first game that, if we don’t have those, we’re looking at a different type of game late. Tajh, Treshaun, Donasia Bell all hit it to the fence against a very good pitcher.”