’Jills will play at Evangel today
A Patterson Lumberjill crosses home plate during the squad’s earlier season action against E.D. White at Patterson High School. Patterson, the No. 25 seed in the Class 3A playoff, will begin postseason play today when it travels to face No. 8 seed Evangel in bi-district softball playoff action. The game will begin at 2 p.m. (The Daily Review/Geoff Stoute)
The No. 25 seed Patterson Lumberjills will have little time to think about their first-round opponent in No. 8 seed Evangel Christian as the squad will meet the north Louisiana team today at 2 p.m. in Shreveport, just a day after the postseason brackets were released by the Louisiana High School Athletic Association.
Patterson coach Coby Minton said that the decision to play today came down to what common day the schools had available to play, noting it was tough with the playoffs being around Easter Sunday.
“There was only two days that they could play and two days that we could play and the only common day was Friday,” he said.
However, Minton said that hopefully the contest will be a chance to draw a large crowd with school out and many off from work.
It also serves a purpose for giving his squad not too much time to think about their opponent.
“We’re excited to get back on the field,” Minton said. “We’re not one of those teams that when we sit around and think about it, we handle it real well, so I actually think it works in our favor to get back on the field quick.”
As for their opponent, Evangel comes into the matchup having faced quite a few tough opponents this season, including Class 5A’s top two seeds, St. Amant and Ouachita Parish, respectively; Class 4A’s No. 4 seed St. Thomas More; Class 3A’s No. 4 seed Notre Dame; and Class 2A’s No. 2 and 3 seeds, Calvary Baptist and Menard, respectively. While the squad dropped all of those games, they do own a win against Class 5A’s No. 4 seed in Mount Carmel.
“They definitely play the who’s who of softball. ... They don’t just play the who’s who of the north,” Minton said. “They come down. They played Notre Dame, they played in the Sulphur tournament and they got to see some teams down here.”
Evangel moved up to Class 3A this year after finishing as Class 2A semifinalists a year ago.
On the mound, Evangel features a Louisiana Tech signee in pitcher Carolina Sanchez, an all-state selection a year ago.
From his scouting of Evangel, Minton said that he has been told if the Lumberjills can get to Evangel’s pitching some and get runners on base, they can have some success.
Offensively, Minton said Evangel is “scrappy.”
As for the Lumberjills, Minton said the squad’s season went about as expected.
“We had some games that we definitely thought we should have won as every coach says at the end of the season,” he said.
Coming into the year, the Lumberjills had a young group, having to replace eight position players as well as the team’s designated player from a year ago.
“I thought overall we did a pretty good job of growing up quick.”
The Lumberjills finished in third place in District 9-3A behind co-champs Berwick and E.D. White.
Today’s contest will be played at Evangel High School.