Parkview avoids second straight upset by Berwick
By: GEOFFREY STOUTE
BATON ROUGE — Heading into its matchup with Parkview Baptist, Class 3A’s top ranked squad, No. 16 Berwick’s goal was to make Parkview Baptist’s Brooklyn Guillot lower the location of her pitches to give the Lady Panthers better opportunities to drive the ball.
Unfortunately for the Lady Panthers, they did just the opposite.
Guillot threw a four-hitter and struck out 14 and Parkview (26-5) used two home runs from Meagan Brown to eliminate Berwick, 4-1, in Baton Rouge Thursday in the regional round of the Class 3A playoffs.
“We weren’t discipline enough at the plate today,” longtime Berwick coach Lloyd Burchfield said Thursday. “We swung at too many pitches out of the strike zone, and that was exactly opposite of our game plan. We talked about that and how we had to make her throw the ball down to have a chance, and we didn’t do that.”
Thursday’s regional round game was the second consecutive meeting of these two teams in the second round of the Class 3A playoffs, each with different results. In 2011, Berwick, then a No. 19 seed, upset Parkview Baptist, then a No. 3 seed, in Berwick in the second round of the playoffs.
“This is huge,” Parkview Baptist coach and former LSU softball standout Ashlee Ducotee said of Thursday’s win. “A game like that from last year always still weighs on your mind and your heart a little bit. (We) still have a few kids that played in that game so you kind of wonder what their mental state is, and we tried to just focus on the task at hand and not worry about what happened in the past. We knew they were a good team (and) well coached and they’re going to put the ball in play. They’re fast (and) they’re aggressive so they’re going to make you make plays so that’s the one thing we concentrated on more this year.”
While Parkview won Thursday’s game, Berwick (15-15) plated the game’s first run in the fourth inning.
After facing the minimum number of batters during the first three innings, Guillot surrendered a triple to Berwick leadoff hitter Abigail Ohlin to begin the fourth inning.
The next batter, Amber Girard, plated Ohlin on an RBI single to center field for a 1-0 Berwick lead.
Parkview responded in the bottom of the frame when Brown hit a two-out solo home run to left field to tie the game at 1.
After Berwick was sat down in order in the top of the fifth, Parkview took the lead for good in the bottom of the inning.
Alyssa McVicker, who reached base on an error by Berwick centerfielder Elizabeth Hover, was sacrificed over to second base via a Blakeli Entremont bunt and scored one batter later on a Morgan Acosta RBI single to center field.
Parkview appeared to put the game away in the bottom of the sixth when Brown hit her second home run of the day, a two-run shot to left field, but Berwick made things interesting in the top of the seventh.
Megan Fegenbush reached base on an error by Parkview third baseman Lauren Yawn, and following a Megan Fabre strikeout. Hover singled to left field to advance Fegenbush’s courtesy runner, Abby Bergeron, to second base.
Hayley Girard then followed with a bloop single to shallow left field that fell behind the third baseman to load the bases.
However, like she had nearly all day, Guillot returned to her dominant ways as she struck out Celeste Bowers and forced Alexis Kates to groundout at second base for the final out.
“What a difference a day makes?” Burchfield said, alluding to the offensive outburst the Lady Panthers displayed in Wednesday’s 14-4 run-rule victory against Port Barre in the first round of the playoffs. “(If) we just get half the offensive production that we got yesterday, we win this game.”
In the loss, Fegenbush surrendered four runs on seven hits and walked two. She concluded her senior season with a 14-13 overall mark.
At the plate, H. Girard finished 1-for-2, while Ohlin, A. Girard and Hover each finished 1-for-3, with A. Girard adding an RBI.
Despite Berwick’s 15-14 record and No. 16 seeding entering Thursday’s game, Ducotee was well aware before hand that this wasn’t a typical No. 1 versus No. 16 matchup.
“This power rating system is a little different (this year) versus the coaches voting (that was used in 2011),” she said. “Even though a team is seeded a certain number doesn’t necessarily mean that’s where they should be. This is a very strong matchup right here, and I think it’s a good thing. It helps us prepare for the next game for sure.”
With the loss Berwick also said goodbye to its three seniors, Fegenbush, A. Girard and Bergeron.
On Fegenbush, Burchfield said, “She kept us in most of the games we played this year, and I couldn’t ask more from Megan Fegenbush.”
As for A. Girard, Burchfield said she was one of the best third basemen in the state.
“She makes all the plays and she’s got a lot of savvy,” he said.
While Bergeron didn’t see a lot of playing time this year, Burchfield commended her for sticking with the softball team.
“She’s a good girl, and she stuck with it, and that’s a testament to her,” he said.