Predicting the LHSAA 2022 high school softball state champions
The LHSAA softball state semifinals and championship games will be held on Friday and Saturday. High school sports writers around Louisiana from the USA Today Sports Network have picked who they believe will win state championships in the select and non-select state championships on Saturday.
Here are our selections:
Emely Hernandez: West Monroe. The Lady Rebels are coming for revenge after being upset by Airline in the semifinal. They have lost just five games this season.
LaMar Gafford: West Monroe: Save for a rough stretch in the middle of the year, the Lady Rebels have been consistently good this season. There’s a reason why West Monroe was nationally ranked at one point.
Jimmy Watson: St. Amant: No. 1 is gone so I’m going with the next in line for the throne.
Chris Singleton: Sam Houston: With No. 1 Pineville down, No. 2 St. Amant is now the highest seed in 5A. Don't count out No. 8 Sam Houston, which knocked off Pineville 4-3 in the quarterfinals
Hernandez: Franklin Parish: The underdogs lives on. The No. 10 seed has fought their way to the top and have dominated the tournament so far, outscoring opponents 45-3.
Gafford: North DeSoto: Tim Whitman knew how to win at Pineville, Louisiana College and Ouachita and he is continuing that trend at North DeSoto..
Watson: North DeSoto: The defending champs played a demanding schedule and have all the pieces needed to repeat.
Singleton: North DeSoto: North DeSoto has scored runs in bunches this season. They are hard to beat.
Hernandez: Iowa: Iowa comes back and better than ever with a chip on their shoulder after coming so close to a title in 2021.
Gafford: Iowa: The Lady Jackets were close to winning the title last year, but they will get the job done in 2022. Kamryn Broussard has hit 12 home runs this season and has the school record for career home runs with 26 – and she’s only a junior.
Watson: Iowa: Iowa should make a return trip to the title game and won’t have Jena in its path this time.
Singleton: Iowa: Iowa has withstood the pressure so far and looks to keep it rolling at state.
Hernandez: Many: The Lady Tigers have talent throughout the lineup led by a handful of collegiate signees.
Gafford: Many: The Lady Tigers have a deep lineup that can score runs. Many has four college signees in Camryn Ford (Northwestern State), MaKynli Miller (Nicholls), Jada Carhee (Arkansas-Pine Bluff) and Tia Holmes (LSU Alexandria), while Brook Jenkins is another productive hitter in the lineup.
Watson: Many: The Lady Tigers have three collegiate players and are led by the Tia Holmes.
Singleton: Many: Many’s dominate season will continue with a run to the state championship.
Hernandez: Montgomery: After a week one loss to 5A foe Pineville, the Lady Tigers have found themselves on the right side of the win column. They'll take that momentum to take the title.
Gafford: Montgomery: The Lady Tigers have the longest winning streak in Central Louisiana and it feels like their time after beating LaSalle and Oak Grove during the season.
Watson: Montgomery: The Lady Tigers have solid hitting throughout the lineup with just two players averaging below .400.
Singleton: LaSalle: Class 1A is filled with many good teams. LaSalle is a good program with big-play talent.
Hernandez: Holden: Holden made its way through the 2021 bracket with ease, with a tough 2022 schedule, the shot of back to back titles is well in reach.
Gafford: Florien: The Lady Cats have a rich softball tradition and are clicking at the right time.
Watson: Holden: Holden had an easy time winning the title last year and should breeze through in 2022.
Singleton: Holden: The defending Class B state champions have all the tools to add another championship trophy to their collection.
Hernandez: Calvin: With the core of their 2021 state title team back, the Lady Cougars will make the journey to a state title as easy as can be.
Gafford: Calvin: The Lady Cougars were young last year and still won, so they should be able to go back-to-back this season. District 4-C rival Harrisonburg makes it close in the championship game.
Watson: Calvin: There aren’t any dominant teams in this class so we might as well go with a team of overachievers.
Singleton: Calvin: Calvin a proven contender that knows how to have success in the Class C state tournament. Expect them to win it all again.
Hernandez: John Curtis: With just a few losses this season coming from 5A opponents, the Lady Patriots pull off back to back titles.
Gafford: John Curtis: The Lady Patriots were by far and away the best team in the Catholic League and only lost to Barbe, St. Amant and Walker this season.
Watson: John Curtis: The Patriots have won a lot of state titles and seem to own a piece of Frasch Park.
Singleton: John Curtis: John Curtis has one of the best softball programs in the state. Good luck trying to knock them off.
Hernandez: Haynes Academy: The No. 1 seed has just a handful of losses this season, most from 5A opponents. With that in mind the Yellow Jackets take the title with ease.
Gafford: Vandebilt Catholic: This is a sentimental pick after Hurricane Ida ravaged the Bayou Region last August, but the pitching of Kalyn Dehart leads the Lady Terriers to a title.
Watson: Haynes Academy: Haynes and Hannan battled for the title last year with Hannan winning. Tables turned this time.
Singleton: Haynes Academy: Division II is a hard pick, but No. 1 Hayes Academy has played won many big games over good teams this year.
Hernandez: Notre Dame: With three state titles already under their belt, the Lady Pios go for four after already establishing dominance in Division III.
Gafford: Notre Dame: The Lady Pios still have Maci Bergeron, Abigail Savoy and Corine Poncho on the roster. I don’t need to say anymore except Notre Dame wins its fourth straight title.
Watson: Notre Dame: Addy Gautreaux and Abigail Savoy power Notre Dame to the state title.
Singleton: Notre Dame: Notre Dame is a softball powerhouse. They’ll find a way to bring home another state title.
Hernandez: Calvary Baptist: The defending state champion are looking for the repeat. Based off their performance all season with a tough schedule, the Lady Cavs have zoned in to take the title.
Gafford: Calvary Baptist: Calvary and Opelousas Catholic have battled for the No. 1 spot in Division IV all year, but the Lady Cavs have my pick because of more marquee wins during the season and that they are the defending state champions.
Watson: Calvary Baptist: The Lady Cavaliers have been willing to play anyone available, which skews their record, but they’ll be in the title game.
Singleton: Calvary Baptist: No. 1 Opelousas Catholic is a popular pick, but No. 2 Calvary Baptist is a strong threat for the championship
Hernandez: Claiborne Christian: Experience and young talent bring the Division V title to the Lady Crusaders after just coming up short in 2021.
Gafford: Claiborne Christian: Allie Wainwright led the Lady Crusaders to the Division V title game last year as an eighth grader, and she leads them to a championship this season as a freshman.
Watson: Claiborne Christian: The Crusaders and coach JD Jones need to win just once in the playoffs to get to the title game. What could be easier?
Singleton: Claiborne Christian: Claiborne Christian has had little problem scoring runs this season.