LSU signee Raelin Chaffin throws perfect game for Airline to open softball playoffs

Jimmy Watson
Shreveport Times

Raelin Chaffin was one of the best softball pitchers in the state when she was a freshman at Airline. Now that she’s a senior, there’s little question she is the best Louisiana has to offer while displaying the talent that earned a scholarship from LSU. 

Although she’s struggled with an arm issue that kept her from performing at a high  level for most of the season, she sent a message to the rest of the state Monday against Parkway in the opening round of the LHSAA Class 5A state playoffs.

Chaffin tossed a perfect game facing the minimum 15 batters with 12 strikeouts. The 10-0, run-rule-shortened victory sent the Lady Vikings to a 4 p.m. Wednesday contest against Northshore. 

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“My curve ball was working today. We were trying to get ahead with that and then go to the rise ball,” Chaffin said. 

She got plenty of help from Paige Marshall, who homered, Allison Watson, who had a pair of RBI singles and Elena Heng, who knocked in the close-out runs. 

Chaffin has matured considerably since arriving at Airline and has thrived both as an offensive and defensive threat for coaches Reggie Digilormo and Britney Frazier. During her sophomore season, she was tongue-in-cheek frustrated about not getting to wear a home run chain, as did the Lady Viking hitters. So, she and Maddie Ennis came up with a tiara for her to don if she got a least two strikeouts in an inning.

The tiara was no where in sight Monday, and it probably would have been worn out with her performance against Parkway, since she had at least two strikeouts in all five innings.

Chaffin missed a number of games in March, due to the injury, but continued to hit in the lineup. 

“Rae’s come back strong the last two weeks or so and we’re happy to have her back,” coach Britney Frazier said.

Chaffin is 14-0 with a 1.06 ERA and 154 strikeouts in 72.2 innings with just 10 walks.

Chaffin committed to LSU as a freshman before she’d pitched her first high school game. She was seen playing for travel ball for Impact Gold Softball out of Houston. She joined an elite group of Northwest Louisianaplayers with last fall’s LSU signing.

Evangel’s Lindsey Neyland gave a l commitment to LSU in 2012 and Byrd’s Auburne Ziober signed with the Tigers in 1998 playing three seasons. Evangel’s Jenna Kreamer signed with Washington out of high school but finished her career at LSU.

Airline vs. Parkway 19, 2021 at Airline High School.

With a right arm that can throw consistent strikes at 64-65 miles per hour, plus a satchel full of additional pitches, Chaffin may have the best chance to make an impact at an SEC school. Her junior season was cut short by COVID-19, while the injury shaved games this season. 

“It was hard, but I don’t think it’s affected me at all because I’m coming back stronger,” she said. 

Right now, she’s focused on something that’s eluded her – a return to Sulphur and a shot at a state title.

“Yes. I hope so,” she said. 

Twitter: @JimmyWatson6