APCS loses a heartbreaker in 11 innings to Stanley in the Class-B softball playoffs

By GARLAND FORMAN
Co-Editor
In a game that had so many exciting plays, the Avoyelles Public Charter School Lady Vikings dropped a heartbreaking 8-7 decision home playoff game that took 11 innings to decide.
The Stanley Lady Panthers advanced to the Class-B state quarterfinals in Sulphur next weekend with the win. The Lady Panthers scored a run from first base in the top of the 11 inning on a bunt and then had to throw out an APCS runner at the plate to end the game.
Seventh seeded Avoyelles Public Charter School ended the season with a 13-9 overall record. The Lady Vikings also claimed the District 5-B championship for the first time in school history. Tenth seeded Stanley improved to 19-14 overall and will face second seeded Florien in the state quarterfinals on Thursday.
“We left it all out of the field,” Avoyelles Public Charter School Coach Cora Lacombe said after the game. “This team fought hard and never quit. This is a tough, tough loss.”
The game was a see-saw affair with the dramatics coming in the seventh and 11th innings.
APCS had a 6-4 lead with two outs in the seventh inning. Devin VanWrinkle single and then scored on a double by Kiley Cloud. Senior Alex Rivers was facing an 0-2 count when she drove a ball over the left center field fence for a two-run home run and a 7-6 lead for Stanley.
“Our pitcher had a heck of a game but she left that pitch a little too much over the plate,” Lacombe explained. “I wanted the pitch a little off the plate to the outside.”
Back came the Lady Vikings in the bottom of the seventh. With one out, Gabby Priester drove a double off the left center field fence. A Stanley error allowed Priester to move to third and Brianne Guillot to second base. Kennedy Dauzat popped up between the pitchers mound and the first base line. Stanley pitcher Cloud caught the ball but the catcher had moved out from her position to also catch the ball. With no one covering home, Priester outraced the Stanley defenders to the plate and tied the game. However, Guillot was thrown out trying go back to second base.
Going into extra innings neither team really had scoring chances. APCS had runners on second base in the eight and ninth inning but couldn’t advance them.
The 11th inning open with VanWinkle walking. Cloud then put down a sacrifice bunt but VanWinkle kept running to third. The APCS defense threw the ball to third base but no one was there to over the base and VanWinkle scored on the throwing error.
“When we sacrificed bunted in the 11th, I saw no one covering third and waved his runner around second base,” Foshee said. “When the throw was made to third I told the runner to keep going home.
Down one run, APCS tried to come back one more time. Taylor Kelly it a sharp single to left field. Taylor Goudeau hit a sacrifice bunt that was misplayed for an error putting runners on first and second. Priester then drove a ball deep into center field for an out but it allowed the runners to move to third and second. Guillot was walked to load the bases with one out.
Kennedy Dauzat hit a fly ball midway in left field. Alyssa Welborn caught the ball and threw to the plate. Her throw was perfect and catcher Destiney Jones tagged out Kelly to end the game.
“It had to be a prefect throw to get Kelly and it was,” Lacombe said. “We had to try and score on the play.”
“We didn’t hit the ball today but we got the big hit when we needed it,” Stanley Coach Josh Foshee said after the game. “I have four seniors and they all contributed big today in the game. My pitcher, Cloud, is a senior and threw 11 innings. My shortstop hit her first home run of the season in the seventh inning. My left fielder made the throw to home in the 11th and my catcher made the tag.”
APCS was down 4-0 after two innings, Madison Kelly came on to pitch with one out in the third inning. She pitched eight two thirds innings giving up just three earned runs all in the seventh inning.
“We struggled at the plate and didn’t hit the ball very well,” Lacombe said. “We were not getting on top of the ball. I felt we could have hit better today.”
With Kelly shutting down the Stanley hitters, the bats of APCS started to come alive in the fourth inning. With two outs, and a Lady Viking on base, Guillot brought the crowd to life with a monster home run that hit the scoreboard in left center. Moments later, Kennedy Dauzat ripped a pitch for a home run to center field and suddenly the Lady Vikings were only down 4-3.
They took the lead in the fifth inning, M’Lee Newton reached on an infield hit and Kelly hit a single. After a strike out, Priester was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Guillot then single to left field to drive in two runs and give APCS a 5-4 lead. After another strike out, Kaitlyn Johnson double to drive in another run to give the Lady Vikings a 6-4 lead.
“I feel for the players on this team, we have worked so hard this year to get to this point,” a teary eyed Lacombe explained. “I’m just so proud of the way the competed and played.”

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