Lady Pios slip past Crowley
CROWLEY – Thusday’s showdown between the Notre Dame Lady Pios and the Crowley Ladies was billed as a pitcher’s dual and, boy, was it ever.
Notre Dame junior Mollie Stelly and Crowley High senior Olivia Boullion went toe-to-toe in the circle for seven innings and combined to give up just five hits on the night.
But in the end, it was Stelly’s offense that came through in the clutch.
The Lady Pios (17-5, 4-0) rallied from a 1-0 deficit by scoring two runs in the fourth inning to snatch a 2-1 victory in the first of the season’s two meetings between the intra-city teams.
The victory boosted the Lady Pios to 17-5 overall and 4-0 in District 4-3A. The Ladies dropped to 16-6 overall and 2-2 in league play.
“We are a little upset with how we started because we weren’t hitting the ball solid,” said ND coach Dusty Collette, whose team had just four hits off Boullion. “We were swinging at first pitches and we were off balance.
“But we kept fighting and we were finally able to get something going in the fourth.”
CHS coach Zach Pulling wasn’t exactly thrilled with his team’s offensive production either. The Ladies were limited to just one hit on the night after coming off a 16-1 victory over Jennings on Tuesday.
“We didn’t hit the ball like we wanted to, that’s for sure,” said Pulling. “Coming off of the Jennings game, we really hoped we could put more pressure on them today.”
The Ladies struck first with a run in the top of the second inning. Maddie LeBouef drew a leadoff walk and promptly stole second base on the first pitch to the next batter. An errant throw on the steal attempt allowed LeBouef to advance to third and eventually score when the throw from the outfield sailed into the Notre Dame dugout.
“We felt like we gave them that run,” said Collette. “It was just how they got the run that was demoralizing. We didn’t make them earn it.”
Boullion held the Lady Pios in check in the bottom of the frame and in the third, but her offense didn’t do much to help her out.
“I knew coming in that we needed to score some runs to have a chance,” said Pulling. “After we scored, I told them every inning that it was going to take more than one run to win the game, but we just couldn’t get anything else going at the plate.”
The Lady Pios proved Pulling’s theory correct in the fourth inning by scoring a pair of runs, the final two of the game.
Allie Daigle started the rally by drawing a leadoff walk. Alexa Thibodeaux, the Lady Pios hottest hitter lately, then came through with an RBI double before Elise LeBeouf singled to center to drive in the eventual winning run.
“Alexa’s double was huge for us,” said Collette. “The biggest thing for us was to try and get runners in scoring position when our hot hitters were up. For her to be up in that situation, that was a big momentum boost right there.
“And Elise came through to give us the lead. She has been doing a great job for us and her hitting is really starting to come around. She’s hitting the ball a lot more solid now.”
Stelly continued her dominance following the big inning and retired six straight batters before hitting CHS’ Taylor Grabowski to start the top of the seventh inning. Notre Dame’s defense got out of the potential jam by turning a double-play thanks to a pop up on a bunt attempt. Stelly then got Heather Trahan to fly out to end the game.
Stelly gave up just one run on one hit and five walks. She struck out four in seven innings.
“Mollie did a great job of pitching to contact,” said Collette. “She had a few walks that she felt she hit the strike zone on, but she didn’t hang her head and she fought back.”
The lone hit she gave up was a single to Grabowski in the second inning.
“We put the ball in, but we have to put it where they aren’t,” said Pulling. “We didn’t totally choke at the plate, which was good, but we just didn’t hit the ball like I know that we can.
Boullion was impressive in the circle as well. She surrendered two runs on four hits and two walks while striking out four.
“Olivia threw a heck of a game,” said Pulling. “She was on her spots, she located and changed her speeds well. She kept their hitters off balance for most of the game and that was big.”
Thibodeaux and LeBeouf each had a hit and an RBI in the victory while Taylor Boulet and Megan Murrell each had a single.
“We didn’t have a lot of hits, but the ones that we did have were clutch for us,” said Collette.