The Lady Tigers were limited to four hits and struck out 11 times, including five on a called third strike, against Vandebilt pitcher Leah Bergeron.
“Leah did a great job for us on the mound,” Vandebilt Catholic coach Margaret Johnson said. “I feel like she was hitting her spots really well. The defense really backed her up. We had some great catches in the outfield.”
Despite troubles at the plate, the Lady Tigers still managed to move base runners in scoring position; however, they could never bring them home.
“We weren’t disciplined at the plate, driving the runners in,” MCHS coach Kelly Jo Aucoin said. “We had too many strikeouts, too many strikeouts going down looking.”
Bergeron struck out the side in the first inning and seven of the first nine batters she faced.
In the second innning, the Lady Tigers (11-6 overall, 2-1 in District 8-4A) left runners at second and third base when Tyler Hebert was sent back to the dugout for the third out on a called third strike.
In the fifth, the Lady Tigers left runners at first and second base when Amber Bailey popped out to left field for the third out of the inning.
Even in the bottom of the seventh, the Lady Tigers couldn’t get a hit to fall with a runner in scoring position.
With Brandi Ingram standing at second base and one out, MCHS first baseman Reina Fernandez sent a shot to deep right center field, but Vandebilt outfielder Carly Ellender was there to catch it and the Lady Terriers (8-6, 3-0) then converted a double play by quickly getting the ball to second base and touching the bag before Ingram could return.
“That was huge,” Johnson said of the catch. “That was a well hit ball. That late in the game, for us to bust that, what I think we did was we stopped their momentum, because if that ball falls in, they score one run and that jumpstarts momentum. Sometime momentum’s hard to stop at (the opposition’s) home field.”
Aucoin also credited Vandebilt’s outfield for its play.
“She’s (Johnson) got an awesome outfield,” Aucoin said. “Her outfield kept us from scoring the runs.”
Despite its offensive woes, the Tigers defense held firm and limited Vandebilt’s offensive production in the second and third innings, both innings in which Vandebilt left the bases loaded.
In the second inning with the bases loaded, Morgan City limited its damage with two fielder’s choice plays at the plate with Kylie Dufrene’s run-scoring single to left field sandwiched in between.
The Lady Tigers got out of the inning when Bergeron flied out to Bailey for the third out.
In the top of the third, Morgan City got out of the bases loaded jam when Ellender grounded out to Fernandez.
Aucoin said her pitcher, Hebert, pitched an excellent game in the defeat.
“She kept their hitters off because it could have been worse than what it was.” Aucoin said.
Vandebilt added its second run in the fourth on a Bergeron sacrifice fly to center field, while the third run came via a Kaitlyn Dardar single in the fifth.
In the loss, pitcher Tyler Hebert recorded a walk and a strikeout.
At the plate, Nikki Pennison finished 1-for-3 with two sacrifices, while Brandi Ingram and Fernandez each finished 1-for-3.
Morgan City will return to action today and Saturday in the Brusly Tournament.