Lady Pios cruise past Plaquemine in playoff opener

CROWLEY – The Notre Dame Lady Pios took the first step in defending their Class AAA state championship Monday and they did so in dominating fashion.

The Lady Pios got a solid pitching performance from senior Amelia Lavergne and their offense banged out 14 hits in an 11-1 thrashing of No. 22 seed Plaquemine at Hensgens Field.

“We started off a little bit slow, but we came out ready to play,” said ND coach Lauren Delahoussaye. “I would have liked for us to come out and jump on them a little sooner than we did but, overall, I was very pleased with our performance tonight.

“It’s a good feeling (to get the win) and I think that it will give the girls a little more confidence heading into the next round.”

Lavergne set the tone on the mound early, setting the Lady Green Devils down in order in the first three innings.

She gave up one hit in the third frame but the runner was gunned down by catcher Meranda Stelly on a steal attempt before a lineout ended the inning.

In all, Lavergne gave up one run on three hits. She struck out two in five innings to earn the victory.

“Amelia does a great job of getting them to swing at the pitch that she wants them to swing at,” said Delahoussaye. “She did a good job of keeping them off balance and getting ground balls hit at people.

“When she’s on, she’s on and she did a great job today.”

Freshman Molly Stelly took over on the mound in the sixth and gave up a leadoff single and a walk before striking out the next two batters she faced.

She then got a groundout to the mound to end the contest.

Notre Dame’s offense gave Lavergne all the support she needed in the first two innings.

Charlotte Brown singled in the first inning and scored on a double down the right field line by Taylor Boulet.

The Lady Pios added to their lead in the second frame when Heidi Bellard and LeBlanc recorded back-to-back singles to start the inning. Bellard eventually scored on a groundout by Hillary Stelly and LeBlanc crossed the plate on a wild pitch to put the Lady Pios up 3-0.

Katherine Kirsch led off the third inning with a double and scored one batter later on a triple to left by Boulet. Boulet then crossed the plate on a wild pitch to increase the lead to 5-0

The Lady Pios went up 6-0 in the fourth when Taylor Simon, who walked to start the inning, scored on a wild pitch.

Plaquemine cut the lead to 6-1 in the top of the fifth on two singles before the Lady Pios turned a double play to end the inning.

Unfortunately for the Lady Devils, Notre Dame answered in the bottom of the frame.

The Lady Pios collected five hits in the fifth, including an RBI triple by LeBlanc, and scored four runs to increase their advantage to 10-1.

“We just got comfortable in the box,” said Delahoussaye of the fifth inning. “We stayed working on our timing, stuck to our gameplan and pulled through.”

The Lady Pios put the game away in the sixth inning when Kirsch reached base on an error and scored on a groundout by Alexa Thibodeaux.

Boulet led the Lady Pios offensive charge with a 4-for-4 performance that included two singles, a double, a triple and two RBI.

Simon, Bellard and LeBlanc each logged two hits while Brown, Kirsch, Hillary Stelly and Allie Daigle each had one hit.

The Lady Pios will now advance to the second round where they will play either No. 6 Kaplan or No. 27 Loranger, more than likely on Saturday. Kaplan and Loranger played their first-round game last night but results of that contest were not available at press time.

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