The Brusly Lady Panthers accomplished a major goal in their quest for the state championship – and they did it before the playoffs began.
BHS completed its District 7-3A run with three games to lead as part of a lofty goal heading into the postseason race.
They past the first test with flying colors.
The Lady Panthers earned the No. 1 seed in the Louisiana High School Athletic Association playoffs after wins over three perennial post-season standouts —Teurlings Catholic, St. John and Dutchtown.
“It was three tough games,” Brusly coach Beau Bouvier said. “We challenged them and we told them that if we won out, they’d be the number-one seed, so they had something to play for.”
The wins gave Brusly the perfect dress rehearsal for the back-to-back game schedule in playoffs.
“It was definitely well needed,” Bouvier said. “We had gone a couple of weeks playing one or two games, but we needed something like this where we’d play back to back and burn off steam.”
The wins were just enough to help the Lady Panthers bump defending 3A champ Buckeye from the No. 1 seed in the brackets released last Thursday.
Brusly hopes to make its fourth consecutive trip to the LHSAA Fast Pitch 56 at Frasch Park in Sulphur.
The Lady Panthers were set to face No. 32 seed just after press time Tuesday. A win over Avoylles would send Brusly to the Class 3A regional bracket to face the winner of Port Barre (16) vs. South Beauregard (17).
A Port Barre win would keep the Lady Panthers at home for the regional berth. Otherwise, Brusly would head north of Lake Charles – and not far from Sulphur – to tangle with South Beauregard later this week.
“Two years ago, we played both teams at home before we went to Suphur,” Bouvier said. “Then last year, we played the first game at home and then we went on the road.
Bouvier team shouldn’t let the seeding mislead them.
“Once you get to the playoffs, everybody’s good, so you have to go out there and dominate,” he said. “We have an experienced group of girls and they’ll be ready to go.”
In a 1-0 win over Teurlings Catholic, Akiya Thymes stole home in the top of the eighth to give the Lady Panthers the victory.
“That’s something about Akiya … she makes things happen on base,” Bouvier said. “To gofirst to third and steal when nobody’s covering … those are the things in a game that matter.”
Carli Jo LeBlanc struck out 14 in a pitcher’s duel with Summer Ellyson, who sent back 16 Lady Panthers.
BHS finished with three hits against five for Teurlings.
The Lady Panthers also posted an 18-6 rout over Dutchtown.
LeBlanc chalked her 21st win at the mound, while Carli Comeaux finished 3-for-3 with a run, two doubles and seven RBIs. Lanesha Taylor went 3-for-5 with a double and five RBIs, while Thymes was 2-for-4 with a double, four runs and two RBIs. Claire Daigle (2-for-2) had five runs and one RBI.
Aleah Craighton led DTHS with a homer, two runs and two RBIs.
“We swung the bats well and jumped on them,” Bouvier said. “After that, we just fought back and did a good job of stopping them.”