Buckeye slips past Lady Pios

SULPHUR – The Notre Dame Lady Pios couldn’t overcome the error bug Friday and, unlike in the first round, it proved costly this time.

The Lady Pios made two errors in the fifth inning that led to two unearned runs and ultimately sealed their fate in a 3-2 Class 3A quarterfinal loss to Buckeye at Frasch Park.

“We’ve struggled with that one bad inning all season, really,” said Notre Dame coach Lauren Delahoussaye, whose team finished the year with a record of 23-10. “Errors are always going to come back to haunt you and that’s what happened today.

“But we didn’t give up, we fought to the end and I was proud of my girls for that. Even though we weren’t happy with the end result, I am proud of them for the way they continued to battle.”

The Lady Pios also had a few mental miscues aid in Buckeye’s victory.

With the Lady Pios up 2-1 in the top of the fifth inning, Taylor Boulet, who had just singled in Elise LeBeouf, was at third base with one out. Alexa Thibodeaux then hit a grounder back to the mound and on the play, Boulet broke to the plate and was thrown out.

A groundout by Katherine Kirsch ended the frame.

“We had a base-running mistake, but that’s a lot of pressure right there,” said Delahoussaye. “Running at third base in a situation like that, we just had a mental lapse. It happens. It’s not the reason we lost but it certainly didn’t help matters.”

Then in the bottom of the fifth, the wheels fell off for the Lady Pios.

Mandy Moses logged a one-out single to start Buckeye’s rally and following a flyout, Lynsie Nugent doubled to right field.

The throw in from the outfield sailed past the plate and into the backstop, allowing Moses to score.

With two outs, Notre Dame hurler Mollie Stelly coaxed Jessica Johnson into a grounder back to the mound. Stelly elected to throw home to get Nugent but her throw was off the mark and Buckeye took a 3-2 advantage.

“I don’t know what we were thinking right there,” said Delahoussaye. “We knew there were two outs. I guess there was just not enough communication on the field and the girls just got complacent, which is always a scary place to be. She (Stelly) is a little young and she’s still new to the pressure situations. She’ll learn from it.”

Another thing that hurt the Lady Pios was their lack of timely hitting. Although they outhit Buckeye, 6-4, they missed a golden opportunity to break the game open early on.

Notre Dame’s Taylor Satchell singled in the second inning and scored on an RBI single to right field by Hillary Stelly. Elise LeBeouf followed with a two-out hit and Boulet got on courtesy of an error to load the bases.

Buckeye hurler Mikayla Brown got out of the potential jam with a strikeout one batter later.

“We had some opportunities early on,” said Delahoussaye. “We had plenty of chances the whole game. We had plenty of base runners all game to push across. We needed that timely hit and we never really got it. We never really got full connection and their pitcher did a good job of keeping us on our toes.”

Brown sat the side down in order in the sixth inning and gave up one hit in the seventh, a single to left by LeBeouf, before ending the game on back-to-back groundouts.

Brown scattered seven hits and walked just one. She struck out 10 in seven innings to earn the victory.

Stelly, who suffered the loss, limited Buckeye to just four hits. She also walked just one and struck out eight in six innings of work.

“Both pitchers did a great job,” said Delahoussaye. “Buckeye played a great game. We just made too many errors.”

LeBeouf led the Lady Pios with two hits while Hillary Stelly, Boulet, Satchell and Alexa Thibodeaux each had one.

Lynsie Nugent and Lacie Nugent each doubled for Buckeye while Destiny Dauzart and Moses each had a single.

“You know, we did have a great season,” said Delahoussaye. “But I hate to lose and I won’t ever be satisfied and I hope the girls feel the same way. I would hope that they are always going to push to be their best. I don’t feel that we left the field today satisfied with the way we played.

“Not that I like the idea, but in a sense it’s a good feeling to know that the girls now realize that they could have had a better game and that they could have played better. And that they’re going to come back next year hungry for more.”

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