The exceptional play of both teams resulted in multiple players being selected to the Louisiana Sports Writers Association's recently-released All-State Class 1A baseball and softball squads.
Ascension Catholic has been no stranger to Sulphur for the past two years.
In back-to-back seasons, both the baseball and softball teams have made trips there to compete in their respective state tournaments.
And this year, things got even better for the Bulldog faithful as one team reached the state semifinals, and the other left with the ultimate prize.
The exceptional play of both teams resulted in multiple players being selected to the Louisiana Sports Writers Association’s recently-released All-State Class 1A baseball and softball squads.
For the girls, two players were named All-State honorable mention.
One of the selections was senior first baseman Alicia Canatella. Canatella concluded an accomplished career at Ascension Catholic with a tremendous .421 batting average.
She was also named this season’s District 6-1A MVP.
Also making honorable-mention All-State for the Lady Bulldogs was senior outfielder Bailey Acosta.
The two helped Ascension Catholic put together a memorable season that saw them go 21-9 during the regular season. Seven of their nine losses were to higher-classification schools.
The Lady Bulldogs went a perfect 8-0 in District 6-1A for a fourth consecutive season, earning them another league title.
In the Division-IV playoffs, they punched their ticket to Sulphur for a sixth straight season and trounced third-seeded Central Catholic in the quarterfinals. It pushed them through to the semifinals for the second time in three years.
However, it was there that they fell short against second-seeded False River.
As for the baseball team, they left Sulphur hoisting the state championship trophy.
The Bulldogs headed into the Division-IV playoffs as one of the hottest teams in the state, riding a 17-game winning streak.
They didn’t slow down once they reached the postseason. They went 4-1 in their two opening series to reach the state tournament in Sulphur for a second straight season.
In the semifinals, they squeezed by second-seeded Ouachita Christian. In the title game, they game back from 2-0 down to defeat district rival St. John, 4-3, to capture the program its first state title since 1994.
Four Ascension Catholic players made the LSWA All-State team. Three earned first-team honors.
Leading the charge on the first team was senior Charlie Gianelloni.
Gianelloni was a do-it-all player for the Bulldogs this season. From the plate, he hit .402 with 47 RBIs and four home runs. From the mound, he went 9-2 with a 2.38 ERA.
It was Gianelloni who finished off St. John in the state title game.
After the win, head coach Todd Landry said, “He has just been a warrior for us all year. He’s done a tremendous job both on the mound and from the plate. There was no one else I wanted on the mound with the game on the line than Charlie Gianelloni. He earned that spot, and I knew he was going to be able to get it done.”
Gianelloni was named the Most Outstanding Player of the championship victory.
Joining him on the first team was junior pitcher Tre’ Medine. Medine was huge in relief for their semifinal victory over Ouachita Christian.
He went 7-3 with an impeccable 2.31 ERA this season.
The final first-team All-State player was junior centerfielder Mason Zeringue. Zeringue was an offensive force as he hit .426 with 33 RBIs. He also scored 49 runs.
Finally, junior short stop William Dunn found his place on the All-State squad as an honorable-mention selection. It was Dunn that scored the winning run in the Bulldogs’ state title victory.