The parish’s two top 10-seeded girls softball teams, Cedar Creek and Choudrant, notched convincing opening-round playoff victories Monday, highlighted by a three-homer day by Lady Cougars standout Sarah Adams.
Ruston nearly notched a big upset at West Ouachita while Simsboro’s season ended at Saline.
CEDAR CREEK: Lady Cougars coach Julie Riser’s club got to practice the home run trot Monday in its first-round Division IV playoff game against visiting St. Edmund.
The Lady Cougars hammered five round-trippers, three by Adams, fueling a 9-2 victory. They’ll await results of today’s playoff opener between third-seeded Ascension Catholic and No. 14 Ascension Christian to find out when, and where, they play later this week.
Riley Spradlin and Peyton Muse joined Adams in taking their time circling the bases. Muse’s clout was one of three hits she delivered.
Adams went deep in her first three plate appearances, but didn’t get the bat off her shoulder in the last one. St. Ed’s intentionally walked her, far too late.
Cedar Creek (17-10, seeded sixth) jumped on top 3-0 in the first on a two-run shot by Adams, the junior basketball All-Stater. It was her second multiple home run performance this season, with two more against Menard, and raised her season total to 11.
St. Ed’s only runs came on a second-inning two-run homer, but the Bluejays (15-8) couldn’t hang with the big bats of the winners. Lizzie McAdams was on point in the circle for the Lady Cougars, scattering eight hits.
“She located very well today,” Riser said.
CHOUDRANT: The 10th-seeded Lady Aggies (19-10) romped 12-2 over Mt. Hermon (9-18), advancing to a 5 p.m. Class B regional round visit to seventh-seeded Stanley on Wednesday.
The top three hitters in the Choudrant lineup – Holly Bennett, Zoey Smith and Tori Martin – delivered seven of the winners’ 11 hits, with Elise Guillotte adding a pair out of the eighth slot. Mattie Johnson had three RBI and Guillote drove in two.
Bennett pitched a three-hit complete game (six innings) and struck out one per inning.
Choudrant never trailed while scoring in the first four innings, building an 8-2 lead, and closed it out with four in the bottom of the sixth for the run-rule triumph.
RUSTON: The Lady Bearcats were undaunted in their third matchup with the Lady Chiefs, who had outscored Ruston 20-1 in the first two meetings. Ruston fell 7-5 in the Class 5A contest, but only after a three-run rally that faltered after having the tying run at second base with no outs in the seventh inning.
Eight RHS strikeouts by two West Ouachita (19-13, 13th-seeded) pitchers were decisive. Two were the first two of three straight outs to end the game.
“Our kids battled and played hard,” said RHS coach Tim Smith. “They never quit and gave themselves a real chance to win.”
Adrienne Montgomery, one of eight Ruston seniors, went 2-for-3 from the leadoff spot. Another senior, Landri Millsaps, delivered a hard-hit, bases-loaded grounder that was misplayed by West Ouachita’s shortstop, clearing the bases and drawing the Lady Bearcats (16-15, 20th seeded) within two runs in the seventh.
Julianna McMillan, Miley Lee and Aubrey Leggett were other Ruston seniors who made impact in the near-upset, each collecting a hit. Leggett and Lee doubled, and McMillan had an RBI single and stole a base. Lee came into the circle from center field and blanked West Ouachita in the final two innings after the Lady Chiefs erupted for six runs to erase a 2-0 Ruston lead in the bottom of the fifth.
McMillan’s RBI followed Cala Wilson’s RBI double that staked the visitors to their two-run lead in the third inning. Wilson held the Lady Chiefs to two hits through the first four innings.
SIMSBORO: A miserable start led to a quick demise for the Lady Tigers in their visit to Saline.
The 11th-seeded Lady Bobcats (17-13) rolled up 13 runs in the bottom of the first in a 16-0 run-rule Class B playoff victory, ending Simsboro’s season. Lauryn Garrison’s leadoff single in the third inning was the only hit for the 22nd-seeded Lady Tigers (16-14).