The Morgan City Lady Tigers softball team celebrates following the final out in Friday's Class 4A Regional Round playoff game against district foe Assumption. Morgan City won the contest, 6-1, to advance to the state softball tournament for the first time since 2004. Morgan City, the No. 3 seed, will continue postseason play Friday against No. 11 seed West Ouachita in a noon contest at Frasch Park in Sulphur. (The Daily Review/Geoff Stoute)
MCHS defeats Assumption to end state tourney drought
The Morgan City High School Lady Tigers punched their ticket to the state softball tournament for the first time in 13 years Friday after knocking off District 7-4A foe Assumption, 6-1, in Class 4A regional round action in Morgan City.
The Lady Tigers(25-3), Class 4A’s No. 3 seed, will play again Friday at noon against No. 11 West Ouachita in the Class 4A quarterfinals. It is the Lady Tigers’ first appearance in Sulphur since 2004 when they squad fell in the quarterfinals to Erath.
“I’m excited for my kids,” Morgan City Coach Tamara Keller said. “I wanted it for them so bad. They were so disappointed last year, and we were so close.”
Keller said her team started talking about making a trip to Sulphur once the season started.
“To make it with 13 kids, it’s a big deal, because it’s 13 close kids who really, really wanted it, and we had them locked in,” Keller said.
While Morgan City faced Assumption (12-20) for the third time this season after beating them twice in the regular season in district play, Keller said that with a young team, facing a familiar opponent was a good thing to keep her team calm.
“We weren’t settled at the beginning, but they always knew that we’ve beaten them twice and they were going to hit that kid,” Keller said. “She did a great job, but we came through in the moments that mattered. That comes down to knowing you can do it, and when you have confidence against a team like that, it helps out a ton.”
After stranding four runners combined in scoring position in the first two innings, the Lady Tigers finally got on the board in the bottom of the third inning with three runs. With runners on second and third and one out, Morgan City’s Hannah Praddo hit into a fielder’s choice and Allie Vincent, who led off the inning with a bunt single, slid safely into home plate.
Matti Rivere followed with a two-RBI single to right field to extend Morgan City’s lead to 3-0.
Assumption cut its deficit to 3-1 in the top of the sixth inning, but Morgan City countered with three runs in the bottom of the frame.
With one out in the bottom of the sixth, Gracie Verrett beat out a bunt single, and Vincent followed with a single to put runners at first and second base.
Kennedy Hebert followed with a fielder’s choice, but Verrett was safe at second on the attempt to get her out on the play loading the bases. During the at bat of the next Morgan City Lady Tiger, Scottie Metrejean, Verrett scored on a wild pitch.
Metrejean added to the Lady Tiger lead with a two-RBI double to right field for the final margin.
“Morgan City’s a good ball club,” Assumption Coach Kirk DeLatte said. “We’re young, just two seniors. We’re starting four freshmen basically. Our kids came out and they fought as hard as they could. They have a lot to be proud of. I’m very proud of them. That’s a good team that just beat us. We kept it close for the majority of the game to the second to last inning.”
Each team had six hits, while Morgan City overcame three errors. Assumption had one miscue.
Hebert earned the win. In seven innings, she surrendered one run (one earned) on six hits with five strikeouts.
Metrejean and Vincent led Morgan City offensively. Metrejean finished 1-for-2 with a double and two RBIs, while Vincent was 2-for-3 with a stolen base and two runs. Other top Morgan City offensive contributors included Rivere, 1-for-4 with two RBIs, and Prado, an RBI, two stolen bases and a run.
Emily John led Assumption’s offense with a 2-for-4 performance.
Abbey Aysen suffered the loss. In six innings, she surrendered six runs (six earned) on six hits with five walks and one strikeout.