NCS Lady Warriors ousted in semifinals by No. seed Hackberry
SULPHUR - Northside Christian softball coach Ryan Hanagriff knew his squad had a tough hill to climb heading into Saturday’s Class C semifinal contest against No. 1 seed Hackberry.
That hill turned out to be more like a mountain.
Hackberry hurler Jolie Trahan limited the Lady Warriors to just two base runners and one hit while the Lady Mustangs’ offense pounded out a dozen hits in a 13-0 victory that was halted after the fifth inning due to the mercy rule.
Northside finished the season with an overall record of 19-10.
“Coming into this game, we really hadn’t had the opportunity to see very much of Hackberry, but we knew they were very, very tough,” said Hanagriff, whose team made school history by reaching the state semifinals for the first time ever
“We knew they were good hitters, we knew they had a good pitcher and it’s just tough to prepare for a team of that caliber.”
Trahan was dominant from the start as she struck out the side in the first inning and logged eight punchouts in the first three frames.
“She’s a good pitcher,” said Hanagriff. “She hits her spots and, I don’t know what her velocity was, but she was throwing it pretty hard.”
Trahan added two more strikeouts in the fourth inning, but not before NCS’ Kristen Spell broke up her no-hit bid with a single to center field. Madisyn Clement was then hit by a pitch but Trahan got out of the potential jam by logging her 10th strikeout of the game.
“Kristen is a very good fastball hitter,” said Hanagriff of Spell. “She sees the ball well and she rarely strikes out. It took her one at-bat to kind of get her timing down and her next at bat, she was able to find the middle of the ball.”
Trahan fanned two of the three batters she faced in the top of the fifth to close out the game. She finished the day with 12 strikeouts.
Offensively, the Lady Mustangs scored five runs in the first inning, four in the second and four in the third.
Mattie Stine led the Lady Mustangs with three hits while Sami Little had two hits, including a double and three RBI. D.J. Simon drove in two runs with a single and a triple; Brianne Beard had a single and three RBI and Gracie DeVall drove in a pair of runs with a first inning single.
Abby Trahan, Jolie Trahan and Sydney Broussard rounded out the offense with one hit each.
The Northside Christian Lady Warriors survived a pair of seventh-inning errors and narrowly avoided an early exit from the Fast Pitch 56 tournament on Friday with a 6-5 victory over District 5-C rival St. Joseph’s at Sulphur’s Frasch Park.
The Lady Warriors raced out to an early 5-0 lead in the third inning after scoring a run in the first inning and four in the third.
Madisyn Clement drove home the first run of the game on a double to right center field. That plated Zoie Hanagriff, who had walked earlier in the inning.
Then, in the third inning, with the bases loaded, Kristen Spell delivered a three-run double to left field. She later scored on a wild pitch to give the Lady Warriors a 5-0 cushion.
That lead stood until the bottom of the fifth when the Lady Eagles cut loose for three hits, including two doubles, and scored three runs.
Lexi LaCombe drove in a pair of runs with a double to left and Elizabeth Link drove home a run with a double to right field.
St.Joseph’s threatened to cut into the lead even more with runners at second and third base with one outs. But Alexis Barker’s fly ball to right field was caught by Northside’s Natalie Hayes, who fired the ball to the plate to nail Sarah Brown, who was attempting to tag up on the play.
The Lady Warriors added another run in the top of the seventh when Hanagriff doubled and scored on a wild pitch.
The Lady Warriors appeared to be well on their way to closing the game out in the bottom of the seventh when Clement struck out Hannah Pitts and got LaCombe to ground back to the mound to start the frame.
But an infield error and a dropped fly ball in the outfield gave the Lady Eagles a ray of hope.
St. Joseph’s loaded the bases on a single by Alexis Baker and Ashley Knight and cut the lead to 6-5 with an infield single
Clement then hit Tiffany Knight to load the bases again, but she got Emily Goudeaux to fly out to shortstop to end the game and send the Lady Warriors to their first every state semifinal appearance.