St. Charles earns key win over ACHS

Published 11:45 pm Friday, April 4, 2014


LAPLACE — After a highly anticipated showdown with Catholic-Pointe Coupee was rained out Saturday, St. Charles Catholic had to regroup and gear back up for a comparable test in Ascension Catholic, led by ace pitcher Julia Beck. 

The Comets passed this one with flying colors.

Kaitlyn Boudreaux held the Bulldogs to two runs in a complete game effort and Paige Williams went 2 for 3 with two RBIs as SCC secured a 5-2 victory at home in non-district action.

While Catholic Pointe Coupee is ranked first among all Class 1A teams in power points, Ascension Catholic (14-4) is a small step behind, ranked second in that classification. 

St. Charles is ranked 13th in Class 3A, with a chance to make some significant strides upward today: SCC’s game with Catholic-PC has been rescheduled for today, the Comets also set to play Parkview Baptist (6th in 3A power points) as part of a double header. The games will be played at Parkview, scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. respectively. 

This is only the beginning of what could be a season-defining stretch for St. Charles, which is attempting to earn its 10th straight trip to Sulphur to compete at the state softball tournament. After today’s games, SCC has games remaining against E.D. White, Pope John Paul II, Hannan, McGehee, Vandebilt Catholic and Covington. Including Catholic-PC and Parkview Baptist, all but McGehee and Covington have 13 wins or more already. Five of those teams are ranked within the top 11 of their classification. 

It’s part of a unique stretch run of mostly non-district play; because District 11-3A teams only elected to face each other once, only McGehee remains as a district foe for SCC. The Comets are 4-1 in District 11-3A and will likely finish as a runner-up to Curtis, which bested the Comets 12-2 on March 20, barring an upset of the Patriots through the remainder of district play. 

It afforded Monica the opportunity to schedule a tough closing slate on non-district games as something of a Sulphur primer for his team.

“We’re down to nine games left after today,” said Monica Wednesday, before his team went on to defeat Lusher 15-0 on Thursday. “Of those nine, seven are gonna have at least 14-15 wins. We can make a lot of improvement (in power ranking) from now until the end of the season and that’s kind of what we’re looking for.’

“This was a big win today. Ascension Catholic’s gonna win 20, so it’s really a huge win to get us going.”

Boudreaux scattered eight hits, struck out one and walked one on her way to the win.

Beck took the loss for ACHS, allowing five runs on five hits, two walks and one hit batter. She struck out six. 

“I don’t know that we outdueled her,” said Monica. “She’s very good and has a great reputation, well deserved. (Beck) has been starting since the 8th grade. We need to face pitchers like her to get to where we want to be.”

The Comets took a 3-0 lead in the first inning after Williams’ two-RBI single, scoring Morgan Nobile and Destiny Wesley. SCC scored its first run after Beck hit Kaitlyn Lowry with a pitch with the bases loaded.  

“We’ve had some problems getting started in games,” said Williams. “It was really important for us to put some runs up early. We really needed this one, and I’m just really proud of my team.”

That score held until Raeshaun Malancon’s two-run home run sailed over the right field bleachers, cutting the Comets lead to 3-2 in the top of the 6th inning. 

“We knew we’d have the opportunity to push back and score some runs.’

“We’ve had a very solid offense this year,” said ACHS coach Brandi Manry. 

Lowry drew another hit-by-pitch and Williams singled to put two on with one out in the Comets’ half of the sixth. Danielle Rankin popped up a bunt, which fell for an infield RBI hit to score Lowry. An errant ACHS throw brought Williams home to make it 5-2. 

“It’s all about responding,” said Williams. “You have to have a short memory.”

Added Monica, “At that point, we’re questioning ourselves, whether we need to make pitching changes, position changes … It was great to see us answer and to see different faces step up. It’s been the same names in a lot of games for us, but today a number of different girls stepped forward to make something happen.”

After a leadoff single in the seventh by the Bulldogs’ Natalie Landry, Boudreaux retired the side in order to slam the door.