The Lady Eagles are flying south to Sulphur once again.
Menard posted its second straight postseason shutout Thursday as it defeated Delcambre, 6-0, in the second round of the LHSAA Class 2A playoffs.
Sophomore pitcher Jensen Howell whiffed 11 batters and allowed three hits as the Lady Eagles will return to the LHSAA FastPitch 56 to try to avenge last season’s runner-up finish.
“We’re excited,” Menard coach Allison Frye said. “That was our goal all year. We’ve worked hard. It’s been a rough season with the rain, but I think we’ve done what we needed to do.”
The Lady Eagles started slowly but broke through as the game wore on, collecting timely hits against Delcambre pitcher Taylor Trahan.
After a season where she batted .625 from the plate, sophomore Maddie Smith was again hot from the plate after going 3-for-4 and driving in a run in the fifth inning for Menard.
Menard would score twice more in the inning to pull away from the Panthers and to give Howell enough insurance to work with.
“I’m proud that my team had my back through the whole game and that I didn’t have to worry about anything,” Howell said.
Delcambre opened the game with a pair of hits from Holly Deranger and Trahan, but failed to drive either player home as the game stayed scoreless.
The Lady Panthers would struggle with their offense for the remainder of the game, as they only mustered one more hit — in the fifth inning — and failed to keep up with Menard.
“We knew coming in that they were going to throw the ball hard and play good defense,” Delcambre coach Keith Morgan said. “They are a good ballclub and we just knew that we had to do the right things.”
In four of the six final innings, Delcambre went down in order as Howell get stronger as the game progressed.
With the game scoreless through the first two innings, Menard senior first baseman Kayla Busby hit a double and later scored on a sacrifice fly by Tara McVay to break the deadlock.
In the fourth, Howell scored on a wild pitch to bring the score to 2-0 and in the following inning, consecutive RBI base hits by Natalie Seeser and Alexis King pushed the score to 5-0.
The Lady Eagles scored their last run in the sixth after Busby’s sacrifice fly drove in Morgan Woodard.
As the Menard heads to Sulphur, Frye believe last season’s heartbreak will fuel her team.
“I think we are more mature,” Frye said. “We only lost one senior and it’s the same team (down the order). They just seem more composed and relaxed. On our shirts, we have ‘Nobody remembers second place, except the team who came in second place.’ That’s the motto we’ve been going with all year.”
Menard will face the winner of the Archbishop Hannan/Kinder game May 1 at Frasch Park in Sulphur.