Simon, Meche to play in All-Star game

CROWLEY – For four years, Notre Dame’s Taylor Simon and Rayne’s Mariel Meche have been pitted against each other on opposing teams.

Now, they will finally be teammates, not only at LSU-Eunice, the school with which they both signed letters of intent recently, but also this Saturday when they take part in the LHSCA Annual All-Star game at Louisiana College ’s Coca-Cola Field in Pineville.

Simon was one of seven unanimous selections on the West All-Star squad while Meche was an at-large selection.

“This is a big honor for me because there have not been many players from Notre Dame selected to the All-Star game,” said Simon, whose former teammate and current LSU player Alex Boulet made the team last year. “I’m just excited to have the chance to play.”

Playing with Meche is just another added perk.

“I grew up playing with Mariel so I am really excited to get to play with her again this weekend,” said Simon.

Meche feels the same way.

“That’s one thing I was excited about because I know her (Simon) and I’ve played with her before,” said Meche. “We’re not playing against each other any more. We’re teammates now and not rivals.”

Simon, who helped lead her team to the Class AAA quarterfinals this year, is listed on the 18-player roster as a utility player/infielder. Although she mainly played shortstop at Notre Dame, she has no preference on where she winds up during All-Star Weekend.

“I don’t really care where they put me,” said Simon. “I’m going to give them 100 percent wherever I play.”

For Simon, the All-Star game is an honor that caps off a stellar four-year career at Notre Dame.

“It took a lot of hard work and dedication to get through the four years,” said Simon, who was a part of two state championship teams, softball in 2010 and volleyball in 2011.

“When I first got there (Notre Dame) I learned from the upperclassmen and they taught me how to be a leader. I just hope I set a good example for the younger girls. Now that I’m finishing up with the All-Star game, I hope they realize how much hard work it takes to get to that goal.”

The first All-Star game will be played this evening at 7 o’clock, but Simon will not be in attendance due to Notre Dame’s graduation. She will play in the Saturday game that is slated for 1 p.m.

Rayne’s graduation is set for Saturday morning, but Meche has elected to miss the ceremony in order to take in the entire All-Star Weekend.

“It was a tough decision to make,” said Meche of missing out on graduation. “I didn’t make that decision until recently. But graduation is for the parents and my dad was telling me to go play and my mom said it was up to me. I decided to just go and play.

“To walk across the stage (for graduation) is exciting, but I get to graduate from college so I’ll eventually get that opportunity again.”

Meche, a senior pitcher, was a guiding force in Rayne’s success this year, leading them all the way to the Class AAA quarterfinals where they lost, 2-1, to eventual state champion Catholic High of New Iberia.

“I’m just really excited because this is a big opportunity to get looked at,” said Meche. “I am going to a junior college and I will play there, but my plans are to move on after that and play another two years after that.”

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