Bearcats to try and return favor at WMHS tonight; Prep sports round

Photo by T. SCOTT BOATRIGHT/LPJ

Staff Writer

The District 2-5A high school baseball race started Thursday evening with the league’s top-ranked teams squaring off at J.C. Love Field, and West Monroe won round one, 11-4.

The Bearcats (12-7, ranked 13th in Class 5A according to GeauxPreps.com) and Rebels (10-6, No. 8) battle again at 6 this evening in West Monroe.

West Monroe’s five-run fourth inning broke open Thursday’s contest, building a 9-2 lead. WMHS cracked 15 hits and was errorless defensively.

Joshua Miller went 2-for-3 to pace the Ruston offense.

CEDAR CREEK: The Cougars rolled 12-1 at home Thursday over River Oaks, rocking the visitors with seven runs in the bottom of the first.

Cedar Creek (9-8) got a complete-game (five inning) nine-strikeout performance on the bump from Jack Parks, who allowed just three hits. He also doubled in a pair during the Cougars’ early eruption as 12 hitters got to the plate.

The Cougars visit Grant at 2 p.m. Saturday afternoon, then host Simsboro at 6:30 p.m. Monday.

The Lady Cougars begin play in their own Caroline Menzina Classic today, hosting Haughton at 5:45 p.m. and Forest at 7:45 p.m.. Coach Julie Riser’s club notched a big come-from-behind district win at Oak Grove earlier this week, prevailing 11-7 after facing a 5-1 deficit.

“Our bats finally came around and we made plays defensively,” Riser said. “We’re not used to playing from behind, but we played good in that situation.”

The Lady Cougars are young, with sophomores and freshmen accounting for all but two spots on the squad. Their season started late due to the state semifinal run by the Cedar Creek girls basketball team.

“They’re learning. We don’t have any dominant players, just a team that has good solid fundamentals and capable hitters through the lineup. It’s a versatile team,” Riser said.

RUSTON TENNIS: Coach David Poe’s program is preparing to host the Division I, Region I championships April 19-20 at the Ruston Sports Complex and will have some seeded singles and doubles entries.

Thursday, RHS dominated Airline, winning all but one of the 18 matches.

The Bearcats’ No. 1 doubles tandem of seniors Andrew Ellis and Will Johnson have been dominant this spring. Their closest match: an 8-2 win. They’re surging toward the No. 1 regional seed, said Poe.

The No. 2 doubles combo, senior Aaron Williams and Will Findley, are also a likely top 8 seed.

The Lady Bearcats are paced in singles by senior Karen Sternitzky and their top two doubles pairings, twins Sophie and Ellie Puljak at No. 1 and the No. 2 tandem of Anna Albritton and Chloe Lawrence. Poe projects they could all be top 8 regional seeds.

After spring break, Ruston serves it up again April 6 at home against Neville.

RUSTON GOLF: The Bearcats were co-medalists Tuesday at Bayou DeSiard Country Club in Monroe, carding a team plus-27 score that was matched by Sterlington over nine holes. Ouachita Christian (+43), Neville (+53) and Quitman (+53) were also in the field.

CHOUDRANT BASEBALL: The perennial Class B powerhouse is on a 12-game win streak as the Aggies (16-3) posted two road wins this week, 9-2 Monday at Claiborne Christian and 6-2 Tuesday at Union Parish.

CHOUDRANT SOFTBALL: The Lady Aggies (12-6) have won three of their last four, getting the offense rolling, except when they faced a pitching-rich Quitman squad that has won the District 2-B crown already.

This week, Choudrant rolled by River Oaks 15-5 Tuesday and crushed Caddo Magnet 16-3 Wednesday evening.

SIMSBORO BASEBALL: It’s been feast or famine for the Tigers, who have split their last four games, all with at least 10-run margins. In fact, all but one of their games this spring have been blowouts, but some of the squad didn’t hit the baseball field until helping the basketball team win state for the third time in four seasons.

Last Saturday’s 16-6 win over Homer and Tuesday’s 23-3 romp past Arcadia were the highs. At the other extreme, a couple of 17-1 losses, Tuesday at Converse and Thursday evening to Union Parish.

Simsboro goes to Haynesville at 5:30 this evening and visits Cedar Creek at 6:30 p.m. Monday.


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