Lady Pios remarkable run ends in semifinals

Notre Dame’s Paityn Desselle makes a play at first base during the Lady Pios’ 8-1 loss to No. 1 seed John Curtis in a Class 3A semifinal contest at Frasch Park in Sulphur Saturday. (Photo by Jason Faul)

SULPHUR – The Notre Dame Lady Pios fell one game short of their ultimate goal Saturday when they were upended by No. 1 seed John Curtis, 8-1, in the Class 3A state semifinals at Frasch Park.
The Lady Pios finished the season with a record of 22-5; Curtis went on to defeat Jena, 13-3, in the finals to claim the state championship.
“When you give a good team breaks, it makes it hard to beat them,” said ND coach Dusty Collette, whose team committed three errors and gave up seven walks in the loss. “You need to have some breaks go your way. Once they (John Curtis) got the lead, it was hard to come back against a pitcher of that caliber.”
Senior pitcher Katie Brignac limited the Lady Pios to just three hits on the day, striking out seven while issuing just one walk.
Brignac also excelled at the plate, where she had two hits, including a first inning two-run home run that set the tempo for the game.
But it was her dominance in the circle that proved to be the determining factor.
“The game plan was to go in and lay off the rise ball,” said Collette. “But our girls are so aggressive at the plate and they wanted to hit the ball. It was just a different mind set from any other game that we’ve gone into, so it was different and we had some bad approaches at times. But at the end, we settled down and started to get a couple of hits.”
The Lady Patriots added to their lead in the third inning when they plated four runs without a single hit. Lady Pios’ pitcher Mollie Stelly got the first two outs of the inning, but her injured knee gave her problems after that and she walked two and hit two batters before giving way to Zoie Lavergne. In all, there were five walks and four wild pitches in the inning.
The Lady Patriots added a pair of runs in the sixth inning on four hits and two Notre Dame errors.
The Lady Pios finally pushed across a run in the top of the seventh inning when Grace Doucet doubled and scored on a single by Lavergne.
“I thought the girls did a great job of never giving up all season long,” said Collette. “It showed in this game as well. A couple of things kind of snowballed on us and we could have easily hung our heads, but we kept fighting until the very end. And I thought getting that run in the last inning was a big credit to them on how they keep fighting.
“I’m very proud of this team. The girls played well throughout the season and we didn’t finish the way we would have liked, but I think, overall, it was a successful season.”

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