Ladycats even record

Published 11:45 pm Tuesday, March 10, 2015


RESERVE — An East St. John softball program that’s been in search of a calling card in recent years seems to have found one: these girls can swing the bat.

The Wildcats evened their record at 3-3 after earning slugfest wins over Donaldsonville Friday and Bonnabel Monday, 16-13 and 16-12 respectively.

In the win over Donaldsonville (0-3), ESJ leadoff batter Orina Johnson went 3 for 4 with three RBIs. Taylor Lipps went 3 for 4 and Chalyn Smith went 2 for 2. Chanell Simmons earned the win on the mound.

Against Bonnabel (1-3), Lipps led the way, going 3 for 4 with a triple and two RBIs. Johnson again set the table, going 3 for 5 with a double and two RBIs, and Simmons went 2 for 4 with her bat in addition to earning the win.

East St. John (3-3) started the season with losses to St. Mary’s and McDonogh No. 35, both undefeated contenders in their respective classifications, 2A and 4A. In the second game, ESJ pushed McDonogh No. 35 to extra innings before ultimately falling, 25-17.

First year Wildcats softball coach Chad Smith said the success of his players has come down to aggressiveness offensively and on the bases.

“The only way to get better is to swing the bat,” Smith said. “We believe in attacking the ball and running once we get on. We’re learning to play together.

“We’re inexperienced, no doubt about it, but we’re a team that’s going to fight you and keep fighting.”

On the mound, ESJ will have to learn on the fly. Smith has three sophomore pitchers in Simmons, Smith and Tashinna Robinson, Simmons being the most experienced.

“We’re splitting up the workload,” Smith said. “Between the three of them, they didn’t play 25 games last year, total. We’re gaining experience there.”

ESJ is slated for a rematch on the road with McDonogh No. 35 on Thursday.