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.