Rosepine was quickly bounced from the state tournament last year by Archbishop Hannan in the quarterfinals but is back with the No. 1 seed looking to show that last year was a fluke.
Rosepine has played one of the toughest schedules in the state including games against 4A No. 1 North DeSoto and No. 2 DeRidder, 2A No. 2 Many, Division III No. 3 Holy Savior Menard and 5A No. 8 Hahnville and all of them are in Sulphur this week.
“Like any other team that hopes to get back to Sulphur, they wanted to play very tough competition to get ready,” Rosepine head coach Glenn Granger said. “Every girl is a year older and more experienced.
“We played a very difficult schedule this year. We played numerous 5A schools and the No. 1 and 2 4A school.”
Rosepine returned eight players from its quarterfinal team last year including senior pitcher Morghan Latour, a LSU Eunice signee, who has 201 strikeouts in 134 innings and a 19-4 record.
The Lady Eagles also have some big bats in junior Haylee Brinlee (.442, 34 RBI, 11 doubles, 4 triples, 6 home runs), junior catcher Lauryn McMahon (.365, 21 RBI, six doubles, 4 home runs), who is committed to Lamar University and first baseman Desiree Squires (.457, 30 RBI, 13 doubles, 5 triples), a West Point commitment.
Rosepine will face No. 8 Kinder, a team they beat 15-5 earlier in the season, on Thursday at 2:30 p.m. in the quarterfinals. But Granger doesn’t expect that same team.
Kinder head coach Skip Pickle said his team has improved since that early season loss to Rosepine.
“We were playing very poorly at the beginning of the year,” Pickle said. “We expected a lot more of ourselves.
“We stumbled especially defense, but since then we have cleaned It up and our pitching has improved.
“They are a dangerous team but we feel like we can redeem ourselves form that first meeting. You just have to beat someone once. We want to prove that we are worthy of being at the tournament.”
Senior Balie Treme (.413, 22 RBI, 2 home runs), junior Sarah Estes (.447, 32 RBI, 3 homeruns) and sophomore Kate Trahan (.494, 34 runs) have provided plenty of offense for Kinder this season.
The other two Class 2A quarterfinal games at 2:30 p.m. will pit No. 3 Doyle against No. 6 Sterlington and No. 2 Many against No. 7 Loreauville.
In Division IV, No. 2 Catholic-Point Coupee is back in search of its second straight title. Catholic-PC’s quarterfinal game on Thursday will be a rematch of the Class 1A finals with No. 7 St Mary’s who they beat 8-3 to win its first ever state championship.
No. 1 Vermilion Catholic has never won a state title and will host No. 9 Ascension Catholic, who lost to Catholic-PC in the 1A semifinals last year, at 2:30 p.m. on Thursday. No. 4 False River and No. 5 Central Catholic, the 2015 1A state champion, will face off at 2:30 p.m. as well while No. 3 Cedar Creek and No. 6 Hanson Memorial will be the other quarterfinal match up.