Lady Chiefs ready for playoff hurdle today; Stokes signs scholarship

NCHS senior softball player Cat Stokes sits in front of her teammates, family and friends and other student-athletes after signing a scholarship with Centenary College on Wednesday.

The Natchitoches Central softball team hits the road south to the Lake Charles area today for a 5 p.m. second-round Class 5A playoff visit to Sam Houston.

The Lady Chiefs, state quarterfinalists last year, are 21-9 and hold the No. 9 seed in the bracket. NCHS hammered Sulphur 8-1 at home on Monday in the first round after a 6-1 win over No. 1 Pineville in the last game of the regular season.

Sam Houston is the No. 8 seed and ripped Riverdale 15-0 Tuesday. The Lady Broncs have won state championships in 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2015, but last reached the state quarterfinals in 2017. They were the second-place team in the same district where Sulphur finished fourth.

One of the Lady Chiefs’ standouts, shortstop Cat Stokes, signed a scholarship to play collegiately at Centenary College in a Wednesday morning ceremony at NCHS.

Stokes will play in the coaches’ All-Star Game next month in Tioga, among 36 of the state’s top seniors.

“Cat has earned this with hard work over several years,” said NCHS coach Ronnie Abels. “We are very proud of who she is as a student and as a leader on our team.”