The Loyola softball field will entertain something on Monday that it hasn’t enjoyed in its eight-year existence.
Better known as St. Vincent field, thanks to donations by graduates of the former all-girls school, the complex was developed in 2005. When the Lady Flyers meet St. Mary’s Academy at 4:30 on Monday in the opening round of the LHSAA Class 3A state playoffs, it’ll be the first postseason game contested between its lines.
“It’s been a long haul for us. The girls have always worked hard and been competitive, but we’ve finally worked our way up to this position,” Loyola coach Mike Spence said. “Our senior night was rained out, so now we get a chance to hold that – and the girls are extremely excited.”
The Lady Flyers are one of four Shreveport-Bossier City softball teams that earned home games in the first round.
Despite winning District 1-4A, the Benton Lady Tigers must hit the road to open their playoff run, traveling to Bastrop for a 5 p.m. Monday contest. Participating in a league with teams that don’t play the maximum number of games, and that lose most of the ones they do play, drops Benton and Northwood down in the LHSAA Power Ratings
“I was prepared for that and we are ready to rule on the road,” Benton coach Jaymee Junge said. “I’m looking forward to having a road game in the first round. I’m just excited it’s playoff time.”
District 1-5A’s top team, Parkway, earned the right to host the Central Lady Wildcats at 5 p.m. Monday.
“We had set a goal when we came back from Sulphur — we wrote every game on a board in my office, and I put a dash next to each game,” Lady Panthers coach Neil May said. “Since then, we marked a ‘W’ or an ‘L’ next to each game, and we’ve won eight in a row going into the playoffs.”
Haughton, Byrd and Airline all were sentenced to road games at Northshore (Slidell), Destrehan and Denham Springs respectively. Haughton will play at 3:30 Tuesday, Byrd at 4 p.m. Monday and Airline at 5 p.m. on Tuesday.
North DeSoto, winner of District 1-3A, will host Rayne at 4:30 p.m. on Monday. Northwood will travel to St. Louis in Lake Charles on Tuesday at 5.
District 1-2A winner Evangel will host Iota at 5 p.m. on Monday, while runner-up Calvary entertains the Runnels Lady Raiders the same day at 5.
“If we’ve learned anything, it’s that every dog has its day,” Evangel coach Sher Mueller said. “We’re not taking anything for granted. We want to make sure that no team has their day against us.”
North Caddo and North Webster were also awarded home playoff games from 1-2A. The Lady Griffins drew Pickering for a 6 p.m. Monday game, while the Lady Rebels will host Kinder on Tuesday at 5 p.m.
Cedar Creek earned the top seed in Class 1A and will host Northwood-Lena Monday at 5.
Sabine Parish is represented in the playoffs with Florien, Zwolle, Converse, Negreet, which hosts Choudrant at 5 p.m. Monday. Ranked second in the Class B power ratings, Stanley will host Doyline at 5 p.m. on Tuesday. The Lady Panthers have beaten Doyline twice this season by a combined score of 30-1.
No. 14 Natchitoches Central hosts Sam Houston, while local 2A teams starting on the road are No. 22 Many (at Pope John Paul II) and No. 28 Lakeside (at Rosepine).
St. Mary’s (at Opelousas Catholic) and Logansport (at Oak Grove) are the other local 1A teams in the postseason.