Lady Chiefs advance to quarterfinals; Lady Tigers bow by one run

GOING DEEP: Sydney Terrell made this swing count Wednesday, cracking a fifth-inning home run for Natchitoches Central. (Photo by DUSTY GRIMES)

Natchitoches Central’s powerful softball team made its last homefield appearance memorable Wednesday evening in the second round of the LHSAA playoffs but St. Mary’s fell just short of advancing, suffering a 5-4 loss at St. John.

NCHS (30-5) advances to a Saturday Non-Select Division I quarterfinal playoff game at West Monroe, with a 1 p.m. first pitch. The winner advances to next weekend’s state semifinals in Sulphur. West Monroe is seeded fourth and the Lady Chiefs are fifth.

St. Mary’s led 2-0 in the third inning against No. 6 St. John in a Select Division IV second-round battle, but the Eagles answered with four runs. The 11th-seeded Lady Tigers fought back to tie the game in the sixth inning, but again St. John answered, plating the go-ahead run that proved to be the difference when St. Mary’s couldn’t reply in its last at-bat.

At NCHS Wednesday evening, an overflow crowd watched the Lady Chiefs as they overpowered Sulphur 5-1, getting another brilliant pitching outing from Maddie Robinson, who threw a two-hitter and struck out 13.

The Lady Chiefs broke out on top in the bottom of the first as Desi Robinson delivered an RBI double.

Maddie Robinson clubbed a second-inning home run and Sydney Terrell ripped a round-tripper in the fifth inning. They each had two of the eight hits by NCHS.

In baseball, NCHS begins a three-game home series with Benton tonight at 6. Game two, and three if needed, will be played Saturday starting at 1.

St. Mary’s also starts at 6 in its first-round playoff single-game against St. Edmund’s at Cracker Brown Field in east Natchitoches.