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Lady Panthers continue onslaught

Written by John Dupont with : Mike Dowty on .

BHS-SOFTBALL-TEAM-edited

The Brusly Lady Panthers posted consecutive shutouts Thursday and Friday with a district win over E.D. White and a victory over 5A power Denham Springs.

Carli Jo LeBlanc (15-1) allowed a total of four hits across two games. She struck out 11 and allowed only one hit in a 1-0 win Friday at Denham Springs.

The Lady Panthers finished the week 22-2 and 7-0 in District 7-3A action.

Brusly is currently second in the official Louisiana High School Athletic Association 3A power rankings. Defending 3A state champion Buckeye (17-2) holds the top spot.

In a 10-0 rout over the Lady Cardinals (9-10, 2-3), the Lady Panthers jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning.

Akiya Thymes (2-3, three stolen bases) reached base on an error to lead off the bottom of the first. Walks by Carlie Comeaux and Lanisha Taylor set the pace for a LeBlanc grounder to shortstop to score LeBlanc.

Comeaux—who finished 2-2 with a triple, three runs and two RBIs -- scored on a Kaitlyn David popup to left. Taylor reached home on a Shelby Fleming double to left.

LeBlanc and Comeaux each added a run in the third.

Thymes and Maddie LaPrairie chalked runs in the bottom of the fourth when Comeaux reached base on an error.

LaPrairie went 2-2 with a run, two doubles and three RBIs.

A Taylor grounder to short gave Comeaux the go-ahead on the score.

David scored on a LaPrairie two-bagger to left in the bottom of the fifth.

DENHAM SPRINGS

LeBlanc was dominating in the circle again for Brusly Friday as she struck out 11 while allowing only two hits and two baserunners in a 1-0 shutout of Denham Springs.

A sixth inning leadoff triple by Comeaux followed by Taylor’s RBI single settled the scoreless pitcher’s duel between the Lady Panthers and the 5A contender Lady Jackets.

Sophomore lefthander Hollie Morrison suffered the loss despite a strong performance herself as she gave up just five hits and two walks over seven innings.

Taylor contributed two of the four singles for the visitors, while LeBlanc and Thymes also had base hits. Harli Crow had both of the home team’s hits, a double and single.

Comeaux and Taylor are batting .541 and .468. The right-hander LeBlanc, now 15-1, was particularly effective after surrendering a leadoff double to Crow in the first inning. She had no trouble leaving Crow stranded after that as she proceeded to strike out Brittany Case, Jori McDonald and Lucy Lewis.

In the second inning Brusly got its first baserunner aboard when Morrison walked catcher Caitlin David with one out. She got to go back to the dugout for courtesy runner Kelsey Parker, but Morrison struck out Shelby Fleming and got Jonette Fitzgerald to pop up to the catcher to leave Parker where she was.

The tension built as neither team seemed to be able to solve the other’s pitching. Thymes got her bloop single to left field with two outs in the third inning, but one pitch later Comeaux grounded to second for an easy third out. In the fourth inning Taylor reached the bag at the same time as a throw from shortstop to pick up a base hit and LeBlanc then singled her to second. However, ensuing fly outs by David, Fleming and Fitzgerald got the Lady Jackets back into their dugout still staring at a scoreless tie.

It wasn’t until Comeaux smashed her grounder to the centerfield fence for a leadoff triple that Brusly finally had the Lady Jackets on the ropes. Taylor followed with a single that dropped in shallow centerfield to score Comeaux. After Taylor was then caught stealing for the first out, LeBlanc and David popped up to catcher and second base respectively to limit the damage to 1-0.

Brusly put two runners on base in the top of the seventh on a leadoff walk, followed by an error fielding Fitzgerald’s bunt. However, Morrison tightened up to get Maddie LaPrairie to pop up to the catcher, Claire Daigle to strike out and Thymes to ground out to third.

LeBlanc came back to get case to ground straight to first base for an unassisted putout, then make McDonald her 11th strikeout victim. The outcome came down to Lewis, who allowed no drama at all as she popped up the first pitch to third base to end the game.

(Editor’s Note: Mike Dowty of Livingston Parish News contributed the Brusly-Denham Sprigs story.)

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