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St. Amant advances to LHSAA softball tourney over defending 5A champ Ouachita

St. Amant Alyssa Romano
SPORTS SCENE PHOTO/Robin Coco

ST. AMANT – After a one-year absence, St. Amant is headed back to Sulphur after slugging their way past fifth-seeded Ouachita 13-1 last Saturday in a five-inning run-rule win in the first-ever quarterfinal playoff game at Lady Gator Park.

In previous seasons, the 5A quarterfinal games were played at the state tournament. This is the first season with just the semifinals and championship game at Frasch Park in Sulphur at the Fast Pitch 56 State Tournament that begins this Friday

While the bats were pounding out eleven hits, junior pitcher Alyssa Romano limited the defending 5A state champs to only two hits.  Ouachita had entered the game with 82 home runs on the year.  Romano struck out four and issued a pair of walks in improving her career record to 75-8.

St. Amant (26-2-1) capped off their big offensive day with Payton Granier’s walk-off grand slam in the bottom of the fifth, insuring the Lady Gators a 16th trip to Sulphur in the past 18 years.

Hitting leaders included second baseman Sophie Smith who was 3-for-3 with two RBIs while Julia Kramer and Romano were 2-for-3 at the plate.

Kramer and Romano started the seven run, fifth inning with doubles while Granier finished the inning and game with the grand slam.  The junior third baseman drove in another run with a sacrifice fly and finished 1-for-2 with five RBIs.

With the win, the fourth-seeded Lady Gators advance to the Class 5A semifinal round for the first time since 2015.

After graduating multiple starters from last year’s team that won 30 games, this year’s St. Amant squad includes seven first-year starters.

St. Amant meets No. 8 Walker (24-9), who upset top-seeded Sam Houston 6-2, in one of Friday’s semifinal games.  No. 2-seed Airline will face third-seeded Barbe in the other semifinal at Frasch Park in Sulphur.

St. Amant defeated Walker 5-2 in a non-district game played at Lady Gator Park on March 11.  Romano allowed two runs on eight hits, striking out four and walking one in the win over the Lady Wildcats.

Kramer and Rylee Rossi each had two hits in the game.

St. Amant is 2-1 on the season against the other three teams remaining, dropping a 5-1 decision to Airline in the Sulphur Invitational last month while downing Barbe 3-2 in the same tourney.

Played Saturday, 4/20

St. Amant 13, Ouachita Parish 1

Ouachita   001 00 –   1  2 4

St. Amant 102 37 – 13 11 0

W – Alyssa Romano (24-2). L – Jordyn Manning. Leaders: OUACHITA: Olivia Buckhalter (1-2), Kaylee Nettles (1-2); ST. AMANT: Payton Granier (1-2, Grand Slam, 5 RBIs); Sophie Smith (3-3, 2B, 2 RBIs), Julia Kramer (2-3, 2B, RBI), Romano (2-3, 2B).

Records: St. Amant 26-2-1; Ouachita 24-10.

Nonselect softball

Class 5A

Bidistrict

(1) Sam Houston 10, (32) Covington 1

(17) Sulphur 11, (16) Dutchtown 3

(24) Captain Shreve 14, (9) Central-BR 9

(8) Walker 7, (25) East Ascension 1

(28) New Iberia (13-16) at (5) Ouachita Parish (22-9)

(12) Hahnville 10, (21) Comeaux 0

(13) West Monroe 6, (20) Acadiana 1

(4) St. Amant 8, (29) Live Oak 1

(3) Barbe 14, (30) Southwood 0

(14) Ponchatoula 15, (19) Natchitoches Central 5

(11) Pineville 6, 22) Fontainebleau 4

(6) Denham Springs 10, (27) Ruston 0

(26) Chalmette (19-8) at (7) Northshore (20-3)

(23) Destrehan 1 (10) Mandeville 0

(18) Alexandria 10, (15) Haughton 0

(2) Airline 14, (31) Zachary 0

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