When St. Joseph’s Academy of Baton Rouge visits Haughton at 4 p.m. on Tuesday afternoon for a first-round Class 5A state playoff game, the Lady Redstickers will face a Lady Bucs team with a dangerous combo of speed and power.
As a team, Haughton has blasted 29 home runs led by Louisiana Tech-commit Anna Dies with 11. The junior, also the top pitcher on the staff, hit five home runs in back-to-back games last week.
“Over the last three or four games we seem to have hit our stride,” first-year Haughton head coach Leanne Shanks said. “Hopefully we’re peaking at the right time — and we’re playing good defense. As long as our pitching holds up, I feel pretty confident about our chances.”
The Lady Bucs will join Byrd, Benton, Evangel and Calvary as Caddo and Bossier Parish teams nabbing home softball playoff games as the road to Sulphur for the LHSAA’s Fast Pitch 56 launches with opening games spread today through Tuesday.
The Lady Eagles will get things started locally at 2 p.m. today when Patterson (14-8), which has defeated just two teams with a winning record, visits Dan Moreman Field.
“With it being Easter weekend, we’ve had two full days of practice since we last played, so we wanted to get the playoffs going,” first-year Evangel coach Meghan Fisher said. “Hopefully we’ll win and then we’ll have a good rest before our second game.”
Byrd will host Ponchatouila at 4:30 Monday, Benton will entertain Franklinton at 5 p.m. Tuesday while Calvary gets Lakeview at 5 p.m. Tuesday. North DeSoto is at home against Neville at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday and North Webster hosts Berwick at 6 p.m. Tuesday in home games involving area teams.
Among the road teams playing Tuesday are Airline at Northshore (1 p.m.), Parkway at Ouachita (5:30 p.m.), Captain Shreve at Denham Springs (5 p.m.), Loyola at St. Thomas More (4 p.m.), Northwood at Ursuline Academy (4 p.m.) and Lakeside is at Oak Grove (5 p.m.).
“We at first thought we were going to Houma, so we’re pretty excited about going to Lafayette,” first-year Loyola coach Kristen Cole said. “We don’t have any seniors and I’m proud of the way this team has worked to get here. Some of these girls have never experienced this before.”
Other Tuesday games involve Natchitoches Central hosts Slidell (4 p.m.), Ruston travels to Live Oak (5 p.m.) and Cedar Creek hosts Montgomery at 5 p.m. Also in 1A, Ringgold will play at No. 1 Catholic and Logansport travels to St. John (3 p.m., Tues.)
Defending Class B champ Florien gets a first-round bye and will play the winner between Doyline and Avoyelles, which play at 4:30 on Monday. Castor nabbed a No. 3 seed and will host Hornbeck at 2 p.m. Friday, while Stanley will travel to Holden. Negreet will host Simsboro at 5 p.m. Tuesday.