Softball playoffs begin for SCC, Riverside & WSJH

Published 12:02 am Wednesday, April 18, 2018

LAPLACE — Exiting regular season play with a solid 22-5 record, the St. Charles Catholic Lady Comets softball team is operating at full power in preparation for a high stakes playoff run.

At 4 p.m. today, the No. 3 Lady Comets host a regional game against No. 14 seed Ursuline Academy, and head coach Ty Monica expects the girls to embrace every moment as if it were the championship round.

Jori Bryant (Photo by Stephen Arcuri)

“You’re down to a one-game season, and if you don’t approach it like that, you’re looking at it the wrong way,” Monica said.

“There is no future. There is no tomorrow. It’s do or die.”

The last week of practice has given way to some of the most focused gameplay of the season, according to Monica.

Senior Jade Brady proved herself the team’s ace in the hole in the last regular season road game against Covington, where she pitched seven innings and hit a home run.

Monica wants Brady and the six other skillful seniors on the team to each put their best foot forward and experience the magic one game at a time.

A win against Ursuline Academy would propel the Lady Comets to the LHSAA quarterfinals next week to play the winner of Thursday’s game between Haynes Academy and E.D. White.

Riverside Academy

RESERVE — After fighting injuries for most of the season, veteran players Lexi Johnson and Emma Palermo are back on the pitching mound just in time for the playoffs.

Accompanied by seventh grader Emily Vicknair’s strong arm, pitching from Johnson and Palermo could aim Riverside Academy toward state championship redemption in Sulphur, according to head coach Tamra Regalo.

For now, the No. 6 seed Lady Rebels are attacking the playoffs one game at a time, gearing up to host No. 11 seed Louise McGehee at 5 p.m. Thursday.

The McGehee Hawks have played like a separate set of teams this season, and Regalo said she isn’t sure what to expect. What she does know is the Lady Rebels will fight until the end.

“I feel like we’ve definitely gotten tougher since the first game of the season,” Regalo said. “We’ve faced a lot of tough teams, and the girls have fought in every game. They never give up.”

If successful, Riverside Academy will face the winner of this evening’s game against St. Thomas Aquinas and St. Katharine Drexel in the quarterfinals next week.

West St. John

RINGGOLD — The West St. John High Lady Rams fought hard during the regular season to advance to the LHSAA playoffs for the first time in recent memory, a feat head coach Kenneth Streeter is immensely proud of.

Heading into playoffs, Streeter said the bi-district game against evenly matched No. 17 seed Ringgold could swing either way. Despite missing the comfort of a home field advantage, the No. 17 seed Lady Rams exceeded expectations when they took to the field and earned a 22-14 win.

According to Streeter, the girls started off slow and sluggish after a long bus ride. After a start filled with errors and walks, something changed in the fifth inning.

“At the top of the fifth, I don’t know what happened, but the girls just exploded and started playing really well,” Streeter said.

Scoring 10 points in a single inning, the girls pushed themselves to a bi-district win.

West St. John will play No. 1 seed Oak Grove in the regional round on Saturday. Time and location is to be announced.

 Streeted said this year’s squad is a special group, adding the girls have conducted themselves with integrity in each game, whether it ended with a win or a loss.

“In the short time we’ve been playing together, the girls have tested their resolve and have done very well,” Streeter said. “They’ve shown an unselfishness for helping each other and doing what the coaches ask of them.”

Streeter extends a thank you to assistant coaches “T Jack” and Melancon for their direction and to the U.S. Marine Corps Recruiting office in Baton Rouge for donating $1,000 to the program to fund team gear.