Trailing 1-0 in the bottom of the third, the Lady Bulldogs scored their only four runs of the game. With the 4-1 lead, pitcher Hailee Rome and a flawless defense behind her held on to capture the 4-2 victory.

Ascension Catholic didn't do a whole lot offensively on Friday evening against Opelousas Catholic, but when they had to produce, they did.

Trailing 1-0 in the bottom of the third, the Lady Bulldogs scored their only four runs of the game. With the 4-1 lead, pitcher Hailee Rome and a flawless defense behind her held on to capture the 4-2 victory.

The win punched Ascension Catholic's ticket to this week's Softball State Tournament in Sulphur.

"It would have been nice if we could have scored runs in a few more innings," Lady Bulldog head coach Don Henry said. "Our defense and pitching clicked, and the offense did it when they had to. We scored runs in that third inning. I would have liked to have made it a little easier, but I'll take it. Right now, all you care about is winning. I don't care what's the score."

Opelousas Catholic had a deceptive 12-14 record entering the game, as 13 of their 14 losses came against upper-classification schools. One of their wins was against second-seeded False River.

Ascension Catholic fell down early as the Lady Vikings came up with three straight hits to load the bases on Rome. One run came around to score on an infield single.

The 1-0 deficit only last until the bottom of the third inning. That's when the Lady Bulldogs had their best string of offense for the entire game.

They led the inning off with back-to-back walks by Alicia Canatella and Mackenzie Marroy.

After Lauren Landry reached base on a fielder's choice, Angelle Theriot produced an RBI single to tie the game.

Emme Medine then reached base and another Lady Bulldog run scored following an Opelousas Catholic fielding error.

To end the flurry, Bailey Acosta came up with a sac fly, and Ceily Grisaffe drove a run home with a single.

The Ascension Catholic rally gave them a comfortable 4-1 advantage after three innings. However, the Lady Bulldogs would not produce another hit for the rest of the game.

The Lady Vikings inched a little closer in the sixth inning when they tacked on a solo home run to cut the deficit to 4-2.

Though, in the seventh, Rome quickly shut the door on Opelousas Catholic as she sat them down in order.

Ascension Catholic won despite being outhit by a 9-3 margin.

"I was impressed with them. I don't know how they're an 11-seed, the way they hit," Henry said. "They definitely put pressure on us, but I like the way we reacted. We reacted with a lot of poise. We've been having problems the last few games where we'll have one bad inning on defense, but today, we made the plays when we had to, and Hailee Rome on the mound was fantastic."

The Lady Bulldogs' only hits came from Canatella, Theriot and Grisaffe. Canatella was 1-2 with a walk, and Theriot and Grisaffe each went 1-3 with an RBI.

 The victory pushed Ascension Catholic through to the state tournament for the sixth straight year, where they'll face third-seeded Central Catholic (21-5) in the quarterfinals.

The Lady Bulldogs are seeking their first state title since 2000. Henry was the coach of that championship squad.

"I'm proud of them--especially my seniors. They've been dreaming about getting to that final game," Henry said. "We still have a few games to go, but it's special to get to Sulphur for them. They had an undefeated season at home this year. We really want them to get it because these girls have been going five and six years for this."