ST. AMANT -- Denham Springs High dropped its first two games at the St. Amant Invitational on Friday, falling to the Lady Gators 18-2 and Sam Houston 3-0.
“The mentality we walked into the game with changed,” Denham coach Leslie Efferson-Yellott said. “We played with confidence (Thursday) night and we didn’t do that when we came out here (Friday)…I think (Friday) needs to be a wakeup call in general. We tell our kids all the time that the enemy of great is good. When you get comfortable just thinking you’re good enough, that’s when you get humbled. We were definitely humbled.
Added Natalie Parker, “It definitely showed us that we need to get our stuff together and buckle down. We can’t take any game and come into it and act like we’re going to win it. We need to work harder against teams like these because they’re the best teams in the state.”
St. Amant (10-1) jumped out to an early 3-0 lead after Jadyn Rumfellow led off the game with an infield single and Madison Hunt reached on an error. Taylor Tidwell brought them both home with a laser over the right-field wall to put St Amant in front before an out was recorded.
In the 2nd inning, the lady Gators exploded for eight runs after another leadoff single, this time from Alyssa Romano. Back-to-back walks loaded the bases for Kennedy Page, who brought two runs in with a double. Madison Marchand followed Page up with the second three-run home run of the game, this one a no-doubter that cleared the left field wall by 15 feet.
St. Amant dropped another five runs in the 3rd inning after consecutive walks to start the inning set Rumfellow’s RBI single. That was enough to chase Yellow Jackets pitcher Layne Miley after just 2 innings after she allowed 13 runs, 11 earned on six hits and six walks.
Melody Lienemann came in relief of Miley, but the result was the same. Hunt’s infield single scored Romano, an error allowed Page to reach base and score Rumfellow and a single from Marchand scored Hunt and Page to push the St. Amant lead to 13-0 after 3 innings.
“They’re very good hitters,” Efferson-Yellott said. “They played a great game. They hit every missed pitch we put up there and we put 10 people on base for free. You can’t do that against quality teams.”
After holding the Gators scoreless for the first time in the top half of the 4th inning, Denham (7-3) found the scoreboard when Paige Luquette led the inning off with a double, the Yellow Jacket’s first hit of the game. Parker brought Luquette home with a one-out single and advanced to second on a wild pitch. From there she scored on Karlie Galloway’s double to left center.
“It’s important just to get some momentum going our way,” Parker said. “Just to get us back into the game and pumped.”
It was the first and only time DSHS touched Romano, as she turned in a complete-effort in the shortened game: 4 innings, two runs allowed on four hits and 3 strikeouts. Kaylee Parker relieved her in the 5th inning and pitched a clean inning to close out the game.
Denham didn’t have much time to digest the loss with a game vs. Sam Houston immediately afterward. Leadoff walks came back to hurt Denham again as two of the Lady Broncos’ runs came from putting the first batter on base in the 1st, 3rd and 5th innings.
Apart from those hiccups, Parker held her own against the Sam Houston offense, but the offense wasn’t there to back her. Parker struck out 6 and limited the Lady Broncos (12-1) to just four hits.
“Coming from the game before, I knew I needed to do something to lead the team,” Parker said. “Something to let them know that I have their back.”
Sam Houston pitching had DSHS equally handcuffed. The Lady Broncos only surrendered four hits and the Yellow Jackets had runners in scoring position only three times, but never could find the situational hit to bring them home.
“Sam Houston is a good team,” Efferson-Yellott said. “They only put three (runs) up against us, but they’re not giving up many runs either. That’s a talented team, I’m incredibly impressed with their athleticism on their team and St. Amant’s. They did a really good job in that game, but we should have hit the ball better.”
The Yellow Jackets try to get back on track whey they take on Barbe at 10:30 a.m. Saturday on the final day of the tournament.
ST. AMANT 18, DSHS 2
St. Amant 355 05 -- 18 13 0
DSHS 000 20 -- 2 4 3
Alyssa Romano, Kaylee Parker (5) and Chandler Guedry; Layne Miley, Melody Lienemann (3) and Karlie Galloway. W – Romano. L – Miley. 2B: St. Amant – Kennedy Page, Madison Marchand, Kailey Dufour; DSHS – Paige Luquette, Galloway. HR: St. Amant – Taylor Tidwell, Marchand. Records: St. Amant 10-1, DSHS 7-2. Up next: St. Amant Invitational – DSHS vs. Barbe 10:30 a.m. Saturday.
St. Amant Invitational
St. Amant 18, DSHS 2
Sam Houston 3, DSHS 0
Barbe 11, Walker 0
Destrehan 5, Zachary 2
East Ascension 11, Covington 7
Hahnville 8, Sam Houston 2
St. Amant Invitational | At Butch Gore Park
Walker vs. Hahnville, 12:30 p.m.
Walker at St. Amant, 2:30 p.m.
DSHS vs. Barbe, 10:30 a.m.
Zachary vs. Sulphur, 12:30 p.m.
Zachary vs. Ascension Catholic, 2:30 p.m.