Crowley tops Northside in softball opener: Notre Dame Lady Pios fall short at STM

CROWLEY – The Crowley Ladies opened their 2011 softball campaign with a bang Tuesday.

The Ladies battled back from a 2-run deficit early on and banged out eight hits in the final three innings to cruise to an 11-4 victory over the Northside Lady Vikings at the CRD’s Hensgens Field.

The Lady Vikings struck first, scoring two runs on two CHS errors in the first inning.

Crowley answered back, scoring two unearned runs of their own in the bottom of the second to knot the score at 2-2.

Northside added another run in the third inning and clung to a 3-2 advantage after holding the Ladies to just one hit in the first three frames.

However, the Ladies came alive in the fourth.

A two-out bunt single by Heather Trahan started a rally that saw three CHS Ladies cross the plate. Trahan scored on a double to left field by Megan Guidry and Olivia Boullion came through with a clutch single to center to drive in Skylar Huval, who had walked, and Guidry.

Northside cut the lead to 5-4 in the fifth inning on yet another CHS error, but that was as close as the Lady Vikings would get.

Crowley put the game away in the bottom of the sixth with six runs on five hits, including two inside the park home runs.

Megan Guidry started the inning with a one-out walk and Boullion crushed a pitch down the right field line for the first inside the park home run.

Minutes later, Maranda Guidry singled to left field and Jessica Powell delivered a bomb to center field that rolled to the wall for the second homer of the frame.

Emily Boullion then reached base on an infield hit and scored on a single to right field by pinch hitter Akeela Dugar, who later scored on a passed ball.

Olivia Boullion, the Ladies starting pitcher, sat the Lady Vikings down in order in the seventh to preserve the victory.

Boullion finished the night with 13 strikeouts and gave up just one earned run on three hits. She also went 2-for-3 at the plate with four RBI. Maranda Guidry was 2-for-3 with a triple.

Over in Lafayette, the news wasn’t as good for the defending Class 3A state champion Notre Dame Lady Pios.

St. Thomas More’s Lady Cougars, last year’s Class 5A champion, pounded out 14 hits and overcame a shakey start to defeat Notre Dame, 8-3, in a matchup of defending state champs.

Notre Dame took an early lead when Charlotte Brown led off the game with a line drive single to right. Misplayed on one hop by the Cougar right fielder, Brown ended up at third on a two-base error, the first of three uncharacteristic STM defensive miscues in the opening inning and four errors for the game.

Alexa Thibodeaux then lofted a fly ball to center and Brown broke for the plate. The throw was on the money and Brown reversed back to third as a throw from the catcher sailed into left field allowing the run to score for a 1-0 Lady Pios advantage.

STM fought back in the second inning with one on and two outs. The Cougars stroked three consecutive RBI hits for a 3-1 lead.

The Lady Cougars then added three more in the fourth on a RBI triple, a single and an outfield error that allowed two runs across for a 6-1 lead. Another triple plated two more runs on the fifth.

STM pitcher Nicole Habetz settled in after the first inning and shut down the Lady Pios for five innings. Notre Dame was able to push across a run in the top of the seventh with a late rally. Molly Stelly singled with one out, Brown laid down a bunt for an infield single and Thibodeaux singled to right centerfield to plate Stelly.

The Cougars threw out two runners at the plate to end the game.

Notre Dame managed seven hits, led by Brown with a 4-for-4 day and two runs scored. Meranda LeBlanc, Thibodeaux and Stelly had the other Pios hits.

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