LAFAYETTE — In any sport, especially softball, a game can be won or lost by the tip of the finger. Or in this case, glove.
North DeSoto and Teurlings were mired in a pitching duel in Friday’s 4A regional bout. Lady Rebels pitcher Summer Ellyson went toe-to-toe with North DeSoto’s E.C. Delafield, as both pitchers dominated in the circle.
But the game broke on a throwing error by Teurlings in the fifth inning that scored the lone run in the game as the Lady Griffins win 1-0 and advance to the state tournament in Sulphur next weekend. “We didn’t know if we could hit (Ellyson), but we’re a good hitting team and can put the bat on the ball a lot of times to play some small ball,” North DeSoto head coach Lori McFerren said. “I told them that it was going to come down to one play or two, and it felt like it.” The loss was a hard one for the Lady Rebels to swallow. Teurlings made it to the state finals last season and after a 25-4 season this year, nothing but a return to state was going to be acceptable. North DeSoto’s Sami Walters scored the only run by reaching on a throwing error, moved to second base on a sacrifice bunt, then scored as Maddie Burchell hit a grounder to shortstop, but the throw by Teurlings’ Averi Lucie was high, and grazed the glove of first baseman Katie Granger and sailed into the dugout. That run stood up as Delafield held the Lady Rebels in check the whole game. Teurlings was held to only six hits while Delafield walked one and struck out four. Teurlings had one real threat in the bottom of the fifth as Granger singled and Ellyson hit a two-out double. Taylor Brown grounded into a fielder’s choice that resulted in Granger being called out at third. Then Sydney Manuel hit a rocket to right field, but it wasn’t deep enough for Ellyson to score and stopped at third. But Delafield got out of the jam by getting catcher Julia Bailey to fly out to center. “Isn’t she awesome?” McFerren asked. “We watched (Teurlings) play last year (in the state finals) and we’re real young. We just had one senior on the team, and she was playing in the field. And E.C. just turned 14, so we’re real excited. We’ve very proud of them.” Meanwhile, Ellyson was just as dominant, maybe even more so than Delafield. Summer – who has verbally committed to UL – gave up only five hits in her seven innings of work, walking two and striking out 15 North DeSoto batters. She was also strong at the plate, going 3-for-4 with two singles. But the one unearned run she gave up was the difference in the game. “It’s tough. There’s nothing really to say about it,” Teurlings head coach Lauren Delahoussaye said. “North DeSoto played a great game. They hit the ball well and were solid and got a run home. Our defense made a couple of mistakes that hurt us.” North DeSoto advances to the quarterfinals next week, but the Lady Griffins made it known who they want to see in the other dugout in Sulphur. “We’re pretty fired up because it’s between our rival in our district and Assumption,” McFerren said. “We want to see Benton again. They want some of us, and we’re going to give it to them.”