Riverside Academy softball takes on Metro league

Published 12:01 am Wednesday, June 6, 2018

RESERVE — With returning players stepping into larger roles and the emergence of a new pitcher-catcher duo, Riverside Academy’s softball team is on track to become a hard-hitting contender, according to head coach Tamra Regalo.

River Parish metro softball, a summer league competition between Riverside Academy, Ascension Christian, St. James High and Destrehan High, presents the perfect opportunity for the girls to form an identity on the field.

Alysa Epperly gets ready to throw from her position at second base.

Rising sophomore Chloe Simon covered left and right field during her freshman year — her first season playing with the Lady Rebels. Her play in the outfield gained her a fist team all district designation last month.

This summer, she said it doesn’t matter what position she plays.

“I just want to be on the field,” Chloe said. “We’re filling in positions of seniors who graduated, so it’s a chance to give it our all to see what we’re capable of doing.”

The value of metro ball lies in the extra practice, Chloe said, adding it’s easier to improve without the rankings and high stakes that come with regular season games.

Additionally, metro ball allows more players to see the field and provides an opportunity for new teammates to integrate into the group.

Regalo envisions Chloe manning infield and outfield.

Shortstop is up for grabs now that 2018 senior Briley Becker has exited the team, and Regalo anticipates Lexi Johnson or Camryn Loving taking the reins.

Camryn, an incoming eighth grader, proved herself as a catcher against older girls last season and was awarded first team all district. Meanwhile, Lexi was named a first team all district utility player.

Summer Sciouneaux fields a grounder at third base.

Second base also presents options, according to Regalo. She said Emma Palermo and Ashley Hymel, first and second team athletes, respectively, have the skill sets needed to take on the challenge.

Building a strong set of pitchers is Regalo’s favorite responsibility as a coach, and she looks forward to adding an incoming eighth grader to the roster.

Alainah Felton and her sister, Alonah, an incoming freshman, made big waves on junior varsity last season as a pitcher-catcher duo.

“The sisters were ineligible last year, so we’re super excited to finally have them on our varsity squad,” Regalo said. “They’re going to add a lot of softball knowledge to our team. They’re really hard workers, both of them.”

This summer, middle school age pitchers will compete against high school teams through scheduled metro games and competitive tournaments.

Hosted through the metro league, competitive tournaments are a taste of the “best of the best” of each school, according to Regalo. While the Lady Rebels roster remains the same, Riverside Academy enters tournaments under the name “Sluggers 16U.”

At a competitive tournament hosted in Hammond last weekend, the “Sluggers” came out scorching but showed room for improvement after falling to the Hannan Hawks by one run Sunday morning.

Metro season softball lasts through the month, with games each Monday and Wednesday through June 27.

The metro season kicked off Monday with a game against Destrehan.

Regalo said the younger girls came out strong, swung the bat well and made great secondary plays before rain claimed the field.

The Lady Rebels are gearing up for today’s 5:30 p.m. home game against Ascension Christian.

On Monday, the girls will play an away game against St. James High.