Central Catholic softball players, along with third baseman Hallie Autin, center, celebrate as Autin touches home plate after a three-run home run in the bottom of the sixth inning gave the Lady Eagles a 5-2 lead en route to an eventual 6-3 victory in Division IV regional round action against Lafayette Christian Academy in Bayou Vista Thursday. With the win, Central Catholic will advance to the state tournament in Sulphur where it will meet False River Academy at 2:30 p.m. Thursday in a Division IV quarterfinal contest. (The Daily Review/Geoff Stoute)
CCHS rallies to defeat Lafayette Chrsitian, punch ticket to Sulphur
While Central Catholic may have easily beaten Lafayette Christian during both District 7-1A contests this season, for much of Thursday’s Division IV regional round contest, all the pressure was on Central Catholic as the Lady Eagles were down much of the time.
However, it took one miscue on a routine ground ball to spark a Lady Eagle rally in the sixth en route to an eventual 6-3 victory and a trip to the state softball tournament in Sulphur next week.
With two outs and runners on first and third in the bottom of the sixth, Central Catholic’s Emma Aucoin hit what should have been a routine grounder to the pitcher. However, after fielding the ball, the pitcher dropped it as she looked to turn to first base for the out.
The speedy Aucoin beat out the throw and courtesy runner Symone Wiggins came home on the play to tie the game at 2.
The next batter, Hallie Autin, connected on a three-run home run over the left field wall for a 5-2 Central Catholic lead, while the Lady Eagles scored another run in the inning when an error allowed another run to score for a 6-2 advantage.
Lafayette Christian scored a run in the top of the seventh on Chelsi Breaux’s solo home run over the centerfield wall, but the Lady Knights could get no closer.
Lafayette Christian scored a run in the top of the first on Leah Gaspard’s single to left field.
The Lady Knights added to their lead in the third inning when an errant throw from third to Central Catholic pitcher Sarah Thomas got past the pitcher and first base, and Lafayette Christian scored another run.
Central Catholic left the bases loaded in the bottom of the first inning and the bottom of the fifth.
The Lady Eagles scored their first run in the bottom of the third when a run came home on Halley Fontenot’s infield single.
Fontenot earned the win in relief. In 2.1 innings, she surrendered an earned run on two hits and fanned two.
Thomas started the game for Central Catholic, and in 4.2 innings, she surrendered an earned run on seven hits with two strikeouts.
Autin led Central Catholic with a 2-for-4 performance with a home run, three RBIs and a run. Other top offensive contributors for Central Catholic included Aucoin, 1-for-4, an RBI and a run; Fontenot, 1-for-2, an RBI; Kelly Russo, 1-for-3, an RBI; and Bailee Lipari, 1-for-2, a double.
Central Catholic’s Division IV’s No. 5 seed, now will face No. 4 seed False River at 2:30 p.m. April 27 at Frasch Park in Sulphur. False River advanced to the quarterfinals after defeated Highland Baptist in regional action.