SULPHUR — Errors in the third inning sunk the No. 5 Sam Houston Lady Broncos on Friday as they lost to No. 5 Central Baton Rouge 6-1 in the Class 5A quarterfinals at the LHSAA state softball tournament in Sulphur.
Sam Houston trailed Central by just one run before the fateful inning.
“I think a lot of things in this sport are contagious,” Sam Houston head coach Beth Domingue said. “Hitting is contagious, errors are contagious.
“My defense has been very solid all year. I think it was just mental and it got in their heads. They had a great season. One win or one loss can’t define us. Hopefully I will be able to get them to pick their heads up and try to keep them confident for next year.”
With two outs in the bottom of the third inning, first baseman Jordan Lafosse and pitcher Jenny Griggers collided while trying to field a pop up by Raegan Willis allowing Bailie Johnson to score. Sam Houston would go on to drop three more fly balls or pop ups that led to three more runs and a 5-0 lead for Central.
Sam Houston had a chance to score in the top of the second inning when Casidy Chaumont got two bases on an error and moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by Jordan Lafosse. Jayden Dukes hit into a fielder’s choice but Central couldn’t get an out. The next play was also a fielder’s choice but it didn’t go as good for Sam Houston. Dukes fell between second and third after injuring her right leg, and catcher Raegan Willis tagged Chaumont as she tried to dive back to third base before tagging Dukes to end the inning.
About the only bright spot for Sam Houston came in sixth inning when sophomore Jill Poullard hit a solo home run with one out.
Sam Houston tried to rally in the seventh with two outs when Makenah Hamilton and Maddie Pourciaux hit back-to-back singles by Poullard popped out to end the game.
It was the final game for seniors Dukes, Chaumont, Padyn Williams and Taylor Strother.
“I have a great group of seniors and I hate to see them go out like this but lessons are learned with losses,” Domingue said.
Sam Houston 1
Sam Houston 000 001 0—1-5-6
Central-BR 014 010 X—6-5-1
PITCHING: W — Heather Zumo. L — Jenny Griggers.
TOP HITTERS: Sam Houston — Jill Poullard 1-4 (run, RBI, HR), Jayden Dukes 1-2. Central-BR — Heather Zumo 1-2 (RBI), Reagan Willis 1-3 (2 runs).
RECORDS: Sam Houston — 24-6. Central-BR — 25-6.