Lady Bulldog softball rolls in district opener

Kyle Riviere
kriviere@weeklycitizen.com
Julia Beck only gave up three hits in Ascension Catholic's 10-0 win over St. John. Photo by Kyle Riviere.

The Ascension Catholic Lady Bulldogs didn't waste any time feeling sorry for themselves after their first loss of the year. They bounced back with an emphatic 10-0 victory over St. John in their district opener at home last Wednesday evening.

The Lady Bulldog offense erupted for 13 hits and a 5-0 lead after just three innings. It was all senior pitcher Julia Beck needed to earn the win over the Lady Eagles as she gave up a mere three hits.

"We have a mentality of having a short-term memory. We've moved past it already, and we were focused on our next game," Ascension Catholic head coach Brandi Manry said. "I'm proud of the way they came out and executed. No matter what happens in our last game, we don't focus on it moving forward."

The Lady Bulldogs drew first blood in the bottom of the second inning.

Rae'Shaun Melancon led things off with a walk, and she was sent home after Abigail Landry cracked a double into left-center. Landry then scored after Isabelle Abadie put a double into the same spot.

Trailing 2-0, St. John had their best chance to do damage in the top of the third. They loaded the bases after a walk and their first two hits of the game.

However, Beck was able to escape the inning unscathed after shortstop Alicia Canatella made a tremendous play to get a force-out at second.

Canatella then did it with her bat--singling to start the bottom of the third. She then successfully stole second.

The bases were then loaded after both Ceily Grisaffe and Bailey Acosta walked.

Melancon reached base on a fielder's choice, which also allowed a run to score. The bases were loaded once again after a single by Beck.

To end the inning, Landry came through with another double. This one scored two runs to put the Lady Bulldogs up 5-0 after three.

"I feel like we probably could have gotten off to a faster start, but I'm normally a little more aggressive," Manry said. "The girls played very hard, and it gives our pitcher a lot of breathing room when she has good run support behind her."

Ascension Catholic scored another run in the fourth to take a 6-0 advantage. In the fifth, they stranded three runners.

Though, they closed the deal in the bottom of the sixth.

Acosta led off the inning with a single, and Melancon reached base after being hit by a pitch. Beck reached base on a fielder's choice, and an errant throw allowed Acosta to score.

After Landry walked to load the bases, Melancon scored on a passed ball to make it 8-0.

The game then ended after a bizarre play. Lauren Landry stuck out, but the third strike was uncaught by the catcher. As St. John's players walked off of the field, Landry alertly ran to first, and both Lady Bulldog base-runners came home to score. It ended the game at 10-0.

Offensively, Ascension Catholic was led by Abigail Landry as she went 3-3 with three RBIs and a walk. Canatella went 3-4, and Lauren Landry was 2-4.

From the circle, Beck got back on track as she pitched the shutout. In doing so, she only allowed three hits and two walks. She struck out six batters.

The victory improved the Lady Bulldogs to 7-1 overall. Despite the solid record, Coach Manry would still like to see her team steadily improve.

"We have high expectations every year; this year is no different. We have a group of girls that are doing what we're asking them to do," Manry said. "While I'm pleased with the way we have played, I'm expecting us to accelerate and play better every game."