Lady Demons hang on for Class 4A playoff victory

Published 12:42 pm Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Franklinton’s Lady Demons hanged for a 5-4 win over Westgate in Friday’s Class 4A playoff game at home.
Fifth-seeded Franklinton never trailed 28th-seeded Westgate, but the game was in doubt until the final out.
The Lady Demons jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the second inning.
Albanie Fussell and Ashlyn Welch walked to open the frame. Missouri Varnado put down a perfect bunt that would have at least advanced the runners, but she beat the play at first and the bases were loaded with nobody out. Bailey Brooks was next and coaxed an RBI walk, plating Aaliyah Faour to make it a 1-0 game. After the first out, Brylie Fowler hit a grounder to the shortstop, but the throw to first was wide. Varnado was going to score on the play regardless of the throw and it was 2-0. Bailey Spears then drove in a run with an RBI groundout to shortstop, sending Brooks home and Franklinton had a 3-0 lead.
Westgate responded with two in the third.
Hannah Tauzin singled with one out and stole second and then third, but a throwing error to third allowed her to score to make it 3-1. After the second out, Aleici Olivier singled with two outs and later scored on Kamryn Fontenot’s RBI single and it was 3-2.
Franklinton added a pair of insurance runs in the fifth inning.
Spears led off by reaching on an error. After the first out, Kiersten Allen put down a sacrifice bunt, but reached on an error, and Spears never stopped running. The throw to third was errant and Spears ran to the plate to increase Franklinton’s lead to 4-2. Later in the inning, Varnado tallied a sacrifice fly, plating Allen. The Lady Demons were up 5-2 and it stayed that way until the seventh.
The insurance runs were needed, as Westgate had the top of its order coming up in the seventh. Westgate’s top five hitters combined to go 6-for-15 (.400 average) with three walks, four runs scored and two RBIs. Their six through nine batters were 0-for-13 with a walk.
Tauzin singled and stole second. Braylyn Menard bunted her to third. Olivier walked. Tauzin scored on the first-and-third play and Fontenot’s RBI single with two outs that sent Olivier home make it a 5-4 game, but the Lady Demons retired the next hitter to hang on for the 5-4 victory.
“I saw us not being us not being able to adjust at the plate,” Franklinton coach Leslie McGhee said. “(Jolie Gray) was a slow pitcher, and really, we’ve struggled with that all year, but the fight was there with defense-wise. They got some decent hits. Our bats were not there. A win’s a win and I’m proud of that and we do move on, but it’s not a great performance. But of course, a win is a win.”
Franklinton plays No. 12 Franklin Parish at 5 p.m. Tuesday, April 16. Franklin Parish defeated No. 21 Morgan City, 15-1, in five innings to open the playoffs.
Fowler doubled and drove in a run.
Spears and Varnado both singled, tallied an RBI and scored a run.
Fussell singled.
Brooks drove in a run and scored a run.
Allen and Faour scored a run each.
Ashlyn Welch had no official at bat, as she walked in all three of her plate appearances.
Aleigha Fussell pitched all seven innings for the win.
For Westgate, Tayzin recorded three hits and two runs scored.
Olivier singled and scored two runs.
Fontenot singled twice and drove in two runs.
Jansen Robichaux tallied two hits.