“Don’t call it a comeback…I’ve been here for years!” Popularized by old school hip hop artist LL Cool J, the Lady Patriots proved it Saturday at the LHSAA Softball State tournament. That quote doesn’t only apply to the state title game, where the Patriots found themselves down by four twice, 4-0 and 5-1, it also applies to the entire tournament. The Lady Patriots last won the title in 2015 and this is the 10th overall title for the program. This one is special, however, as it’s the school’s first softball title in the highest classification/division, as the Patriots compete in Class 5A/Division I.
Staring defeat in the eye, the Patriots began their rally in the bottom of the 5th inning, trailing 5-1. Sierra Sacco and Cam Goodman reached base and senior Alyssa Dean stepped to the plate with one out. She did what seniors do in clutch situations…she delivered. A two RBI base hit narrowed the gap to 5-3 and gave the Patriots life. Momentum shift. Raven Sandras was hit by a pitch and both runners moved up on a passed ball. Courtney Vidrine’s infield base hit narrowed the gap even more to 5-4. Bri Neal then scorched a ball right at the second baseman that was destined for the right center gap, but it was caught for an out. Head’s up base running prevented a potential inning ending double play. Good thing the double play didn’t happen because senior Peyton Picou then got an infield base hit to tie the score at 5 all. New game! The Patriots, however, weren’t done scoring in the fifth inning yet. Victoria Langford’s base hit gave the Patriots the lead at 6-5 and Sacco reached on an error that produced another run. In all, when the dust settled, the Patriots led 7-5.
The drama didn’t stop there. Dominican came right back and loaded the bases up with two outs. A Dominican batter then belted a line drive to left center that would have narrowed the gap, tied the score, or maybe even given them the lead back. Cam Goodman had other ideas. A diving catch on a sinking line drive thwarted the rally, as many people say it was the defensive play of the entire tournament. In the top of the 7th, winning pitcher Remi Hebert got two quick outs before an error and a base hit brought the winning run to the plate. A routine fly ball was then hit to Sacco in left field and the celebration was on!
Congratulations to the entire Lady Patriot team, staff and program. What a magical game, tournament and season. We are truly blessed to have these young ladies in our school an in our program, along with their wonderful parents and coaches!