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Lady Panthers shut out Comets, win fourth straight 7-3A title

Written by John Dupont on .

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LAPLACE — The Brusly Lady Panthers can call the District 7-3A title their very own this year.

BHS (24-2, 9-0) knocked out its closest contender to the District 7-3A championship in a 6-0 win over St. Charles.

It marked Brusly’s fourth consecutive district title and the school’s first outright championship win since 2011.

A loss in one of its two district outings against St. Charles forced Brusly to settle for a share of the 2012 district title.

“It’s a done deal,” Brusly coach Beau Bouvier said. “This was probably our most complete game of the year. We were ready to go, from our practice Wednesday to the trip Thursday.”

The victory kept the ball rolling on a history-making season for Brusly. The Lady Panthers stretched their win streak to 22 games.

Brusly shattered the previous record of 18 a week earlier in a win over E.D. White.

Bouvier called the 2013 Lady Panthers the most solid team he’s coached since he took over from longtime coach Julie Mayeux, starting with the 2008 season.

‘From top to bottom, from the pitching and defense and hitting and just being able to put it all together, this is the best team I’ve had yet,” Bouvier said. “Everything is clicking right now. We hope to keep it going.”

Winning pitcher Carli Jo LeBlanc (17-1) held the Lady Comets to two hits. The junior two-time 3A All-Stater chalked nine strikeouts.

It marked the fifth consecutive Brusly shutout.

“Carli Jo is doing an unbelievable job,” he said.

Bouvier also praised the defensive work of sophomore infielder Maddie LaPrairie.

“Defense-wise, Maddie made a couple plays at shortstop that not many could get to,” he said. “They put a couple of runners on base, but her work really helped keep them from scoring. “

St. Charles pitcher Chelsea Loupe allowed Brusly six runs (four unearned). Loupe allowed two walks and struck out four.

The Lady Panthers finished with nine hits.

Lanesha Taylor finished 3-for-4 with one run and two RBIs to power the Lady Panthers, while Carli Comeaux went 1-for-3 with two runs. Kaitlyn David drilled a double and one RBI. LeBlanc also scored two runs for Brusly.

Loupe (1-3) and Jessica Mire (1-3) eked out the only two SCHS hits. The Lady Panthers also got help from an unusually rough defensive showing form the Lady Comets, who posted four errors.

Brusly needed eight innings to defeat St. Charles in the first-round meeting March 14. The first several innings of last week’s game suggested the second-round showdown could go the same way.

Neither team could gain any advantage the first three innings.

Brusly broke the ice in the fourth when a Comeaux hit put the Lady Panthers in gear. It set up LeBlanc’s run in the top of the fourth on an error for a 1-0 Lady Panther lead.

“Every time we face that team, we have to adjust to the pitcher,” Bouvier said. “We knew the first time around it was a matter of adjusting to her. The first time around, we had good bats. This time, they had a couple of big errors from which we were able to capitalize.”

The Lady Comets restrained the Brusly bats in the fifth, but SCHS couldn’t gain any steam at the bat off LeBlanc.

The Lady Panthers padded their lead with two runs on three hits and an error in the top of the sixth. An Akiya Thymes single to outfield paved the way for the second run.

A SCHS miscue opened the gate for Taylor to sprint home for a 2-0 BHS lead.

A Kaitlyn David RBI double later in the inning stretched Brusly’s lead to 3-0.

Taylor broke the lead wide open in the top of the seventh when she smacked a two-run single that gave Brusly a 5-0 advantage. LeBlanc singled home an insurance run to put the lid on St. Charles.

Brusly visits John Curtis on Wednesday in a battle of win streaks. The Lady Patriots go into the game on the heels of a 50-game win streak.

“It will be a good test to see where we’re at,” Bouvier said.

The Lady Panthers visits St. John on Thursday, Teurlings Catholic on Monday (at UL-Louisiana) and ends the regular season Tuesday at Dutchtown.

The Louisiana High Scholl Athletic Association will announce playoff brackets April 11.

“We should be one or two (in the seedings),” Bouvier said. “I don’t see anyone taking that from us unless we go on a losing streak, which is possible for the last week. But we should be one or two going into the playoffs.

“We’re taking it day by day,” he said. “We’re trying at practice to keep a level head and remember we still have a lot to play for. They understand we haven’t accomplished anything yet.”

The Lady Panthers hope to return to Frasch Park in Sulphur for the LHSAA “Fast Pitch 56” Softball Championships April 26 and 27.

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