Central Catholic Coach Joe Russo congratulates leftfielder Alaysia Williams as she heads for home after hitting a grand slam during the third inning of Thursday's Division IV quarterfinal contest with False River in Sulphur. Central Catholic defeated False River, 12-5, and now will face Vermillion Catholic Saturday at 11:30 a.m. (The Daily Review/Geoff Stoute)
CCHS routs False River, 12-5
No. 5 Central Catholic used an eight-run third inning to distance itself from No. 4 False River Academy en route to a 12-5 win in Division IV quarterfinal action at Frasch Park Thursday.
Central Catholic (24-9) entered the inning trailing 4-3 but erupted for eight runs on eight hits for an 11-4 lead after the inning was complete.
“We worked hard on our scouting report and kids hit well at practice, and I had a lot of confidence in them.” Central Catholic Coach Joe Russo said.
Russo said he thought his squad ended the game with approximately 18 hits.
“Anytime you can get 10 or better, you win most of those games,” Russo said.
With Thursday’s win, Central Catholic advances to the Division IV semifinals where it will face District 7-1A foe and No. 1 seed Vermilion Catholic (23-4) Saturday on field 19 at 11:30 a.m. Vermilion Catholic advanced after knocking off No. 9 seed Ascension Catholic, 10-5, Thursday.
The winner of the Central Catholic/Vermilion Catholic contest will advance to face the winner of No. 3 seed Cedar Creek and No. 2 seed Catholic High-Pointe Coupee at 5 p.m. Saturday on Field 18 for the Division IV state title.
During the regular season, Vermilion Catholic swept two games from Central Catholic with wins by scores of 5-3 in Abbeville and 10-4 in Bayou Vista.
In Thursday’s victory against False River, Central Catholic's Brooke Lipari led off the top of the third with a double to centerfield, and Emma Aucoin followed with a bunt single. The Lady Eagles tied the game on Hallie Autin’s sacrifice fly to left field and took a 5-4 lead on Taylor Picou’s single to right field.
Three batters later with the bases loaded, an attempt to get the lead runner home on a fielder’s choice failed when False River’s catcher dropped the ball at home for a 6-4 Central Catholic lead.
The Lady Eagles scored another run on Bailee Lipari’s bloop single to centerfield before Alaysia Williams followed with the inning’s big blow, a grand slam over the right field wall for an 11-4 lead.
False River added a run in the bottom of the frame on Callie Nipple’s infield single, while Central Catholic scored its final run on an Autin double in the top of the fifth.
Halley Fontenot earned the win.
“I called pitches all year for her, and I tell you what, I couldn’t be more proud of that kid," Russo said. "She stepped it up. I went with a strategy and called certain pitches, and at the end, I had to call different pitches and at the end, she hit those pitches. I’m very proud of her.” False River’s Carley Parks suffered the loss.
Early on, Central Catholic took a 3-0 lead in the top of the first via Autin’s three-run home run.
False River cut its deficit to 3-1 in the bottom of the second on a single by Sarah Allen to left field.
The Gators took a 4-3 lead in the bottom of the second via a three-run inside-the-park home run.