The Quitman softball team has had many “feel good” wins this season. After all when you are 21-4 on the year, obviously most of the season has gone your way. As good as the 2023 campaign has been, no stretch of games has proved the uplifting dividends and emotional feedback as the five days just completed has.
Not to discount the many victories over top-ranked opponents from higher classifications and almost every expected contender for the Division IV title, it is hard to top beating a team coached by a Jackson Parish softball legend, winning a district title and then sweeping through the tournament that you hosted in front of your fans.
The super stimulating stretch started this past Tuesday with Quitman smashing a solid Minden team, ranked #12 in Division II and coached by former Weston star Shelby Leach, 13-1 on the road. (recap in Jackson Parish Journal, March 22nd edition)
The next day Quitman won their third straight district title by dominating Doyline 12-2 and then followed that up by outdueling Oak Grove 3-1, who sports one of the better pitchers in north Louisiana and a #5 ranking in Division IV in Quitman’s opening contest of the QHS Tourney.
On Saturday, the Lady Wolverines put the icing on the cake by trouncing Class 4A Evangel 12-1 and coming back a few hours later to pounce on Class 5A Parkway by an 8-4 margin. The five victories in five days not only cement Quitman’s claim to the top ranking in Division V but also ran their north Louisiana-best winning streak to 20 in a row.
Quitman 12 Doyline 2: Madison Chaplin walked to first base four times and then sprinted around them all in the bottom of the sixth inning for a three-run homer that put the finishing touches on Quitman’s 12-2 victory over Doyline. The fourth straight “ten run” rule victory and 7th in the last 8 games, clinched a third straight district title for the #1 ranked Lady Wolverines as they ran their current winning streak to 17 in a row and improved their record to 18-4 on the year. Doyline fell to 4-8 with the loss.
The four free passes, three coming the hard way after getting plunked, and the second home run in the last five days resulted in Chaplin scoring four runs in a game for the second time this season and driving in four, which is a new season best.
The contest featured several players who have gotten limited playing time this season taking advantage of the opportunity to set new milestones this season. Kinsley Ponder walked three times and scored her first run of the year, Katie Lynn Roberts got her first hit of the season and scored a run and Addison Fenn also scored her first run of the year after drawing a base on balls.
Quitman batters reached base 21 times by virtue of six hits, 12 walks, and the three-hit batsmen. Marley Bell hit a double and drove in three while Karley Huckaby, Maddie Kay Brymer (RBI), Anna Leach (2RS), and Skylar Hall (RS, SB) all slapped singles. Averie Williams also walked three times, stole two bases, and scored a run as well as pitching the final five innings to earn her first victory of the season.
Doyline (4-8, 0-1) 0 1 0 0 0 1 x 2 6 1
Quitman (18-4, 3-0) 1 4 0 2 2 3 x 12 6 1
WP – Williams (1-0), LP – n/a
2B – Bell
HR – Chaplin
RBI – Chaplin 4, Bell 3, Brymer
RS – Chaplin 4, Leach 2, Ponder, Pullig, Fenn, Williams, Hall, Roberts
SB – Williams 2, Hall
Quitman 3 Oak Grove 1: (Friday) Head coach Justin Dodson felt that the Lady Wolverines’ opening contest of their tournament played at the JPRD Sports Complex this past weekend would be a low-scoring affair as two of the top pitchers in north Louisiana would be facing each other. He was right.
The vaunted Lady Wolverines offense was held to their second-lowest run total of the year but with Cali Deal striking out 16 and limiting Oak Grove to just one run, Quitman won for the 18th straight time. With the victory, District 1B’s champion and Division V’s top-ranked team improved to 19-4 on the year. Oak Grove, winner of District 2-2A and ranked 6th in Division V, fell to 11-6 overall.
After Deal struck out the side, Madison Chaplin singled to open the Quitman half of the first inning, went to second on a wild pitch, and advanced to third on a groundout. Maggie Guyotte followed with a sacrifice fly to record her north Louisiana leading 45th RBI to give Quitman a 1-0 advantage.
Quitman added two more in the bottom of the third, which proved to be all they would need in the battle between the 2-2A and 1B district champions. Seventh-grade sensation, Hallie Kate Pullig, stroked a double to get the decisive inning started, Chaplin walked and Deal helped her own cause with a single that scored Pullig and advanced Chaplin to third, who later scored on a Maddie Kaye Brymer ground out.
In one of her most proficient exhibitions in the circle this season, Deal threw 80 of her 120 pitches, both new season highs, for strikes leading to her fourth straight game with 10 or more strikeouts and her 12th victory in a row without a loss.
Oak Grove (11-6) 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 – 1 5 1
Quitman (19-4) 1 0 2 0 0 0 x – 3 6 1
WP – Deal (12-0), LP – Cox
2B – Pullig
RBI – Deal, Guyotte, Brymer
RS – Chaplin 2, Pullig
Quitman 12 Evangel 1: (Saturday) Who said 13 is an unlucky number? With Cali Deal striking out 13 and winning her 13th game without a loss, the Lady Wolverines reached the 20-win plateau for the first time since 2015. Quitman put the game away early by scoring six in the first and four in the second as Maggie Guyotte, Madeline Vail, Averie Williams, and Skylar Hall all collected two hits apiece over the four innings of at-bats.
To give Evangel some credit they did manage to keep Quitman from “going yard” for one of the few times this season but the Lady Wolverines still smashed five doubles with Deal hitting a pair and Vail who scored twice also hitting a two-bagger. Hall and Guyotte, who both had 3 RBI in the contest, also joined in the extra base parade. AJ Gray also chipped in with a season-best three runs scored and Karly Huckaby crossed home plate twice.
Evangel (5-17) 0 0 0 0 1 – 1 5 3
Quitman (20-4) 6 4 1 1 x – 12 10 1
WP – Deal (13-0), LP – Sasser
2B – Deal 2, Guyotte, Hall, Vail
RBI – Guyotte 3, Hall 3, Williams 2, Chaplin, Pullig, Vail
RS – Gray 3, Guyotte 2, Vail 2, Huckaby 2, Williams, Hall, Chaplin
Quitman 8 Parkway 4 (Saturday) If you followed Quitman this season, you could have predicted what happened. After all when a player has hit 17 home runs in 24 games and had gone four straight without “touching them all” it was bound to happen. And it did! Not once but twice.
Freshmen phenom Maggie Guyotte hit her 18th and 19th home runs of the year and drove in four to give her 52 RBI, both nation-leading totals among 9th graders according to MaxPreps.com, to boost the Lady Wolverines to their 20th straight victory. Her second bomb was not only impressive but timely as the three-run shot in the bottom of the fifth inning broke a 4-4 tie.
That was all Cali Deal, who came on in relief of Guyotte to strike out 8 in 4 2/3 innings, would need to win her 14th straight without a loss this season and third in two days. Madison Chaplin also went deep for her second of the year, scored three runs, stole a base, and had two RBI and Hallie Kate Pullig got a pair of hits. Madeline Vail and Anna Leach scored runs as well.
Parkway (8-9) 0 0 4 0 0 0 0 – 4 3 0
Quitman (21-4) 1 0 3 0 4 0 x – 8 8 1
WP – Deal (14-0), LP – Thompson
HR – Guyotte 2, Chaplin
RBI – Guyotte 4, Chaplin 2, Hall
RS – Chaplin 3, Guyotte 2, Vail, Gray, Leach
SB – Chaplin, Vail
Offensive woes continue for Weston
It was the weekend that wasn’t. Offensive woes continued as Weston got outscored 42-2 and managed only six hits in their three losses in the Quitman Tourney. Sitting at 5-14 on the year, the Lady Wolves are now ranked #28, the final playoff qualifying spot, and need a strong finish over their last five games of the regular season to make the postseason.
Montgomery 15 Weston 0: (Friday) Twelve straight batters reached base before the first out was made and the 3rd ranked team in Division IV batted around twice in the first inning to score 14 runs and ice the game. Weston, which fell to 5-12 on the year, had two batters reach base in the three-inning affair with Josie Irvin hitting a single and Raelynn Shell, who also stole a base, drawing a walk. Montgomery, who later beat Forest 11-0 in their second game of the day for a fourth straight victory, saw their record improve to 16-7.
Weston (5-12) 0 0 0 – 0 1 0
Montgomery (16-7) 14 0 1 – 15 13 0
WP – n/a, LP – Aldy (3-9)
SB – Shell
Parkway 11 Weston 1 (Saturday) Not only did the Lady Wolves have trouble hitting, collecting only three hits on the day, but Weston also had a bad day in the field, committing 11 errors in the five-inning contest. Jacie Ledford’s single drove in Faith Beamesderfer, who also got a hit and stole two bases in the contest, in the top of the third for Weston’s only run. Gracie Mudge had Weston’s other base hit and hard luck losing pitcher Ansley Aldy, who gave up only seven hits and three earned runs, drew a walk as Weston managed to get only four batters on base.
Weston 0 0 1 0 0 – 1 3 11
Parkway 3 4 2 0 2 – 11 7 1
WP – Thompson, LP – Aldy (3-10)
RBI – Ledford
RS – Beamesderfer
SB – Beamesderfer 2
Oak Grove 16 Weston 1: The Lady Wolves played much better defense but Oak Grove was too strong offensively, collecting 16 hits and scoring 9 in the top of the fourth to “ten run” rule Weston. Alaina Trosclair slapped a double and scored, while Ansley Aldy, who took the loss, got Weston’s only other hit in the contest, got hit by a pitch twice, and drove in a run.
Oak Grove 3 1 3 9 – 16 11 0
Weston 0 0 1 0 – 1 2 2
WP – Phelps, LP – Aldy (3-11)
2B – Trosclair
RBI – Aldy
RS – Trosclair