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3A state playoffs begin road to Sulphur for Brusly

Written by John Dupont on .

BHS-PAHS-SOFTBALL-edited

It’s out with one season and in with another for the Brusly High softball team.

The waiting games ends April 11 for the Lady Panthers, who will find out their official seeding – and their first opponent – in the Class 3A playoffs.

The District 7-3A champion Lady Panthers now await power ranking that will determine if they enter the playoffs the top-seeded team in the state.

The playoffs lead to the LHSAA Fast Pitch 56 State Softball Tournament April 26 and 27 at Frasch Park in Sulphur.

Unofficial rankings listed defending state champion Buckeye – which defeated Brusly in last year’s 3A semifinals – at the top of the heap with a 17.03 rating, while Brusly is a close second (16.95).

Brusly (25-2, 10-0) entered the final stretch of their regular season with non-district games on the slate – perennial 4A contender Teurlings Catholic, longtime 1A power St. John and 5A standout Dutchtown.

“Buckeye has one game left, while we’ve got three really good teams left, so even if we win two of those three games, we could end up in the top spot,” Brusly coach Beau Bouvier said.

A top seed would serve as an added feather in the cap for Brusly, but the Lady Panther could possibly play their first two or three playoff rounds at home.

The draw for the first round will determine whether the Lady Panthers play Friday, Saturday or Monday.

“If it’s close, we’ll try to get the game on Friday and if it’s further, we’ll try for a Monday or Tuesday game,” Bouvier said.

Weather poses as great a concern as competitors for Bouvier.

“It’s the rain that worries us most right now,” he said. “You have to play two games in a week under the playoff setup, so rain for a few days could mean we play two games in three days.

“We’d like to have a couple days between each game for prep time,” Bouvier said. “In an ideal scenario, we’d play a game Tuesday and other game Friday.”

Weather forecasts Tuesday morning called for clear skies during the weekend. Rain probabilities will increase by Monday.

The Lady Panthers entered the final week after a 19-0 win over Port Allen in the district finale for both teams.

Carli Jo LeBlanc (18-1) threw her 10th no hitter of the season.

LeBlanc struck out 12 Lady Pelicans. She went 2-for-4 at the plate with two runs and two doubles.

Akiya Thymes (3-3) had a triple, three runs, three stolen bases and three RBIs for the Lady Panthers. Kaitlin David (3-3) had two runs and three RBIs.

The Lady Pelicans (8-15, 3-7) held Brusly to a 2-0 lead until the third inning, when the Lady Panthers piled 11 runs.

Brusly chalked six more runs in the fourth.

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