SULPHUR – The four-run fifth inning proved to be the difference as top-ranked Dominican defeated John Curtis 5-3 to claim the Division I Softball Championship.
Dominican (20-3) defeated John Curtis (21-7) for the third time this season as they were Catholic League rivals who played for the Division I Championship. This was the first state championship in school history for Dominican.
“It’s hard to beat a team three times,” said Dominican’s shortstop Megan McCartney. “We knew it wasn’t going to be easy, but we had no doubt in our minds we couldn’t do it.”
Curtis got on the base paths early in the game with a walk by Cameron Goodman and a hit by pitch by Jacke Melancon. The runners advanced to second and third base respectively, but they were unable to score any runs.
Dominican opened the game with a double by Hope Couvillion. Gracee Reeves followed with a walk to put runners at first and second with only one out. Consecutive groundouts ended the chance at scoring.
The Lady Patriot looked again to put points on the board in the third inning but was unable again after loading the bases. The bases were loaded for Victoria Langford but a fielder’s choice at home made the second out. Briana Neal looked as if she had a hit that scored two runs, but the umpire called her out of the batter’s box causing the third out of the inning.
The bats finally got going for Curtis in the top of the fourth inning. Rayven Sandras reached base on a single and Alyssa Ochoa reached on a hit by pitch. Sierra Sacko followed with a two-RBI double to give the Lady Patriots a 2-0 advantage. Gracie Chiasson followed with a double to score Sacko for a 3-0 advantage.
Reeves opened the bottom of the fourth inning for Dominican with a single. Ally Firmin’s run-scoring single scored courtesy runner Mykail Lusco to make 3-1 after four innings.
The scoring wasn’t complete in the fifth for Dominican as the bats got going some more. The first two runs of the inning came on a two-run single by McCartney to score Kylie Barre and Alyssa Helwig. Reeves then scored on a fielder’s choice and McCartney scored the final run of the inning when she was knocked in by Claire Sekinger.
“We had to trust ourselves and trust our teammates,” said McCartney. “We knew if one person got on we were going to capitalize on it. One batter after another focus on the first batter up there and everything else will fall into place.”
McCartney was named the Division I Most Valuable Player after going 1 for 3 at the plate with a double and two runs batted in. Reeves went for 1 for 3 at the plate and scored two runs.
Curtis was led by Sacko at the plate as she went 3 for 4, had three singles, and scored one run.