LIVINGSTON – Reigning Class 2A state champion Doyle got the job done in all three phases of the game in opening the postseason with a 10-1 victory over East Beauregard on Thursday evening at Johnny Sartwell Memorial Park.
The second-seeded Lady Tigers (23-6) banged out 14 hits, highlighted by a two-run home run by Sydney Taylor. Marley Olivier held the 31st-seeded Lady Trojans (6-10) to one run and was backed by a pair of force outs at the plate.
“Coming out here, we really just had to focus,” said Doyle first baseman Kylie Merrell, who had three hits, including a pair of doubles and two runs batted in. “We want to be there again in Sulphur (state tournament), just like we were last year, so we came out here really focused up and made sure we did what we had to do.”
Doyle will next host No. 15 Ville Platte, which defeated No. 18 Delhi Charter on Thursday, in next week's regional.
East Beauregard loaded the bases with one out in the first inning before Merrell fielded Chey Doyle's slow chopper to first and threw home to force Makayla Spears. Olivier then got Tommie Humphreys on a grounder back to the circle.
The Lady Tigers gave Olivier a 2-0 lead to work with in the second.
Elise Jones led off with a walk, stole second, moved over on a wild pitch and scored as Olivier dropped a single into right. Merrell followed an out later with an RBI single to right.
“It helped me settle down,” Olivier said of getting the runs. “At first it was a little slow, but coming back and getting those runs and getting ahead put us in the right place. It helped us to ease down and made sure we made the right plays, and that's what we needed.”
Olivier went the distance, allowing six hits and a walk while striking out five.
Doyle made it 5-0 in the third when Gabby Lucia drew a lead-off walk and scored on Madison Diaville's one-out single to left. After a one-out single by Olivier, Chloe Welda and Merrell delivered RBI-singles to left and right, respectively.
Kaitlyn Savant singled with one out in the fourth before Taylor launched a two-out home run to left for a 7-0 lead.
“I thought it was inside and I just pulled it,” Taylor said. “I've been struggling at the plate lately, especially today in my first two at-bats, so I was just trying to get a hit.”
East Beauregard loaded the bases with none out in the fifth on bunt hits by Kearstyn Byrd and Karly Bullock, following an infield single by Eryka Andersen. Libby Humphreys got the Lady Trojans on the board with a one-out single up the middle. But Diaville then fielded Sheridan Elliott's chopper and stepped on the plate to force Byrd before throwing to first to get Elliott for the inning-ending double play.
Doyle got the run back in its half as Jones led off with a double and scored on a throwing error on Olivier's single to right. A single by Jones and a sacrifice fly to center by Olivier plated Lucia and Taylor, respectively, in the sixth.
Olivier matched Merrell with three hits and two RBIs. Savant and Jones had two hits apiece.
“Our hitters really came through,” Doyle coach Amanda Decell said. “Their pitcher threw a lot of strikes and we were very patient at the plate. After the first round of at-bats, we were much better, more patient and we hit good pitches.”
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