Comets overcome ejection, beat E.D. White 11-10
Published 11:45 pm Tuesday, April 22, 2014
By RYAN ARENA
LAPLACE — It took just over 12 minutes Tuesday for St. Charles Catholic to cement its trip to the regional round. In reality, the drama lasted for almost 24 hours.
Morgan Nobile hit a ball in play with one out and a runner on second in the bottom of the 10th inning, and an E.D. White error at short allowed Lela Hill to score and set off a Comets celebration, with SCC 11-10 bi-district winners over the visiting Cardinals.
St. Charles is now set to travel to Crowley Friday for a matchup with No. 4 seed Notre Dame in a regional round game. First pitch is scheduled for 5 p.m. The winner will advance to Sulphur’s state softball tournament.
The game was suspended Monday night after seven innings due to darkness with the score tied 10-10. Play was ressumed at the top of the eighth inning Tuesday.
But the first seven innings set the stage the memorable conclusion, seven innings that included: a controversial call; the subsequent ejection of SCC coach Ty Monica in the sixth inning and a Comet meltdown in the sixth followed by their miraculous seventh-inning rally, one that saw three Comets score on a passed ball.
There were five lead changes and three ties. And St. Charles had to play most of the final three innings without its head coach, whose ejection came after arguing a potential obstruction call in the sixth-inning that left the bases loaded with one out for E.D. White.
After the conclusion of Tuesday’s resumed game, Monica emerged on the field to join his team, who rushed and buried him in a dogpile celebration.
“I’ve never been in this situation before. They’ve never been in this situation before,” said Monica. “To be removed from everything and know our season could be over, or our season can continue another day, and the pendelem was swinging each way … The girls stepped up big.’
“I’ve been beating myself up for the last day. I felt like I’d let them down. Thanks to them and my assistant coaches, we move on.”
St. Charles (21-8) has reached Sulphur, the site of the annual state softball tournament, in nine straight seasons. The Comets now need one more victory to extend that run.
SCC’s Jade Brady earned the win. She retired the E.D. White side in the eighth inning with a big assist from left fielder Danielle Rankin, whose diving catch robbed the Cardinals of a hit.
With one out in the bottom half, Kaitlyn Boudreaux singled for SCC, and Hill entered for her as a pinch runner. Avery Sanders struck out Sara Louque to earn the second out before Emily Triche walked, bringing Nobile to the plate.
And she delivered.
“I imagined myself coming up with two outs, bases loaded, replaying that in my head all day,” said Nobile. “This was close enough to that situation … This meant so much to all of us, players and coaches, and we all had to pull through. It was my time to.’
“We wanted this for coach and we wanted it for each other.”
After St. Charles scored three runs in the bottom of the fifth inning Monday to take a 7-4 lead, the Cardinals loaded the bases with one out in the sixth. Ironically, a baserunning mistake by the Cardinals led to a run, after leadoff hitter Kali Clement got hung up between first and second base; SCC attempted to pick her off, but Clement made it back to first, but the Cardinals scored in the process to make it 7-5.
“It wasn’t any kind of a trick play, though I wish we could say it were,” said E.D. White coach Linda Sanders. “(Clement) thought it was ball four. Fortunately for us, she is one of our better baserunners and she made it back to first.
But the game reached peak tension on the next play, when Triston Gros hit a ground ball to Triche at shortstop: Triche mishandled the ball as Cardinal baserunner Courtney Amedee crossed her path. The Comets called for baserunner interference, but officials ruled that no interference had occurred, loading the bases once again.
That brought out Monica out to argue the call. After a heated exchange, he was ejected from the field.
Once the game resumed, the Cardinals stayed hot. Sydney Falcon drew a walk from pitcher Jade Brady, forcing in the Cardinals’ sixth run. Then Linsie Sanders delivered the biggest blow, a two-run double that put E.D. White back on top, 8-7.
Sydney Bordis hit a ball to center field, but the Comets’ Jessica Mire made a diving catch for the inning’s second out; Falcon scored from third, though, to make it 9-7. Avery Sanders doubled home another run to make it 10-7.
SCC saw Danielle Rankin and Paige Williams get on in the bottom of the sixth, but the Cards’ Avery Sanders registered a strikeout for the third out of the inning. Meanwhile, Brady regained her footing and pitched a clean seventh to hold the deficit to three.
After Sara Louque flied out to third to begin the inning, SCC was down to its final two outs. Triche singled, then Morgan Nobile blooped an infield hit. Destiny Wesley hit a high chopper that deflected off the glove of Avery Sanders to load the bases.
With Jessica Mire up to bat, SCC found its opportunity and cashed in: a Sanders pitch was wild, allowing Triche to score from third. But a pair of E.D. White errors — first on the attempt to stop Triche at home and then on a throw to third — opened the door for two more SCC runs to score, tying the game up and sending Comet fans into a frenzy.
“I think our team got a little overexcited through all the high’s and low’s of the game,” said Linda Sanders.
Errors plagued the Cardinals in the game; those were the Cardinals’ fifth and sixth field miscues of the game.
Sanders got out of the inning from there, then officials suspended the game.
Nobile finished 3 for 5 with two RBIs to lead SCC at the plate. Triche went 3 for 4 with an RBI.
Clement led E.D. White offensively with a two-run home run in the fourth.
Triche, a senior and one of SCC’s longest tenured starters, acknowledged that it was one of the most unique games she’d ever participated in. But she said that when the chips were down, she and her teammates couldn’t afford to be rattled.
“No, never. Not at all,” said Triche when asked if she could think of a comparable game experience.
“The biggest thing was not letting the moment become bigger than you. Don’t try to do more than you can, stay within yourself and stay focused.”