St. John softball post-season run ends in 4-3 heartbreaker

Staff Report

RESERVE – The worst of heartbreakers come during playoffs and championship games, and the St. John softball team’s visit to Riverside was no exception.

The St. John softball team ended its 2021 season 15-5 after a regional round loss at Riverside Academy on April 22.

A walk-off double in the bottom of the seventh snapped a tie and gave Riverside a 4-3 win over the Eagles in Division IV Select Regional playoff action on Thursday, April 22.

The loss closed St. John’s season and slammed the door shut on hopes for a return to the Louisiana High School Athletic Association Fast Pitch 56, which begins today at Frasch Park in Sulphur.

The heartbreaker ended the season 15-5 for St. John, which entered the post-season fray as a No. 4 seed in the 16-team bracket. 

A double line-drive to left brought in a run with one out closed the game in the bottom of the seventh for Riverside.

The Rebels led off the inning with a ground ball to left, while a bunt advanced the runner to third. A fly ball to right sent back one runner but left the tie-breaking run at third.

St. John tied the game in the top of the seventh when Baylie Romero stole home on an Ali Mancuso sacrifice to first. Romero reached base on a line drive single to left with one out.

The Eagles opened the game strong when Emma Hargrove tripled a line drive to left field with one out in the top of the first, but a pop-up with two outs left her stranded at the corner.

Riverside took a 1-0 led in the bottom of the first, but neither team sent a runner to base until the bottom of the fourth, when a homer on a line drive to center field put RHS ahead 2-0.

The Eagles responded in the top of the fifth with a Kynleigh Rhymer solo homer to right field to cut the Riverside lead to 2-1. Rhymer followed in the top of the sixth with a ground single to left that brought home Kaylee Crowe, who walked with two outs.

A Hallie Rivet pop-up to second closed the top of the sixth with a runner at second.

A ground-out stranded Hargrove after she tripled a line drive to left field with one out in the top of the first. A Kaylee Crowe popper to first gave SJHS two outs.

The loss came two days after the Eagles emerged on the upper side of a close game in a first-round clash against Covenant Christian.

A Caballero scored the winning run in the bottom of the seventh after Hargrove reached base on a grounder after an error at first.

St. John took 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first and broke loose for three runs in the fifth off a Romero triple, an Alexis Albert single and an Anna Catherine Caballero grounder.

Romero smacked a solo homer in the fourth.

Albert, Crowe, Romero, Rhymer, and Rivet had multiple hits for St. John, which finished the game with 14 hits.

Rhymer got the victory at the mound. She pitched three innings, and allowed four hits, four runs and struck out three.

Lyndi Kern pitched the first three innings. She allowed five hits and struck out four.