Maybe it was the emotions of Friday’s big win over Benton, but the North DeSoto Lady Griffins seemed to have little in the tank on Saturday in falling 7-0 to Vandebilt Catholic in the semifinals of the LHSAA Class 4A state playoffs.
Hampered by a bucket-load of errors, the Lady Griffins (17-10) displayed little of the emotion that lifted them to a 19-1 quarterfinal victory. A young North DeSoto team made eight mistakes, most of them at critical times, in the season finale.
“I didn’t think the Benton game affected us, because we were fine until something bad happened. Then I think the emotions of that game came into play,” North DeSoto coach Lori McFerren said. “We usually hit well and we usually play good defense. But when we didn’t today, I think it got into our heads a little bit.”
The game was the final contest for seniors Bre Rambin and Chasity Baker, and McFerren praised their efforts in getting the Lady Griffins within one game of a title tilt.
“Both of those kids got bumped as full time starters, but they didn’t quit or display a bad attitude,” McFerren said. “They were asked to take a tough job and they hung in there helping us be a better team by contributing.”
The lopsided loss overshadowed a strong hitting game from sophomore Sami Walters and junior Katie May. Walters was 3-for-3 and May was 2-for-2, but that was it for the North DeSoto hitting against Nora Keehn.
“The ball wasn’t moving at all for me,” Walters said. “She put it in there for me and I just tried to put it in play.
And Walters wanted to get a chance to go one step further.
“I feel like we took care of business all year until today,” she said. “Next year, we will be back.”
The Lady Terriers (19-10) got the only run they needed in the first when Kylie Dufrene singled and scored on a double by Erin Crane. A pair of NDHS errors on a Keehn single in the third made it 2-0 and another error allowed Mackenzie Rousseau to score in the fourth.
But the fifth inning was the killer for the Lady Griffins, co-champions of District 1-4A with Benton.
A walk started the fiasco, which was aided by a muscled single over the infield by Kaitlyn Dardar, along with four errors and a hit batter. The Lady Terriers scored four runs with just one hit.
“I’ve said all along that this team is for real, although we didn’t play well today,” McFerren said. “Our expectations are to win a state title. After the game, I spoke to the girls and talked about 365. That many days from now we will be standing her as state champions.