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Softball: Haughton upsets Airline

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It’s been a tough season for the Haughton Lady Bucs, but on Thursday they played the role of spoiler with a 7-3 District 1-5A upset of Airline at Haughton.

Airline’s loss combined with Evangel Christian’s 3-2 victory over Byrd gave Evangel the District 1-5A championship.

Evangel completed district play 10-2. Airline (16-6, 8-3) dropped into tie for second with Parkway (12-9, 8-3), which fell to Ouachita Christian 1-0 in a non-district game Thursday in Monroe. The Lady Vikings and Lady Panthers have one district game remaining each.

Haughton came into the game with a 7-16 overall record and 2-9 in 1-5A. The Lady Bucs are No. 46 in the latest LHSAA power rankings released by the LHSAA and will not be going to the playoffs. They host West Monroe Friday on Senior Night and then close the season at Benton Tuesday.

Airline is No. 11 in the power rankings and virtually assured of hosting first-round Class 5A playoff game. The Lady Vikings also had a chance to win at least a share of the district title.

It looked like things would go Airline’s way early. The Lady Vikings led 2-0 after two innings. The Lady Bucs cut the lead in half in the bottom of the third, but Airline added another run in the top of the fourth for a 3-1.

Haughton broke the game open with six runs in the bottom of the fourth.

Sidney Arnold got things going with a one-out single. Lauren Edwards followed with a walk. Courtney Garrett singled, scoring Arnold. Hannah Borah walked and Keeleigh Bennett followed with an RBI single to tie the game at 3.

Savannah Salley singled to put Haughton ahead 4-3 and load the bases. Leah Hopson walked, scoring a run. Then Shelby Hensley smacked a two-run double to center field.

Bennett went 2-for-4. Hensley scattered six hits, all singles, and allowed one earned run.

Six Lady Vikings had hits. Maddie Ennis and Jessica Baffuto had one RBI each.

Airline has a chance to bounce back from the loss Friday against Benton (15-11) at home. The teams played two close games early in the season with the Lady Vikings taking both 6-5 and 3-0.

At Ouachita Christian, the Lady Eagles broke a scoreless tie with one run in the bottom of the sixth.

Allie Hunt pitched a solid game for Parkway, scattering six hits. Hannah Kennady had two of the Lady Panthers’ five hits and Brittany Bryant had a double.

Parkway faces Tioga and Natchitoches Central in the Ouachita Parish tournament Saturday before closing the regular season Monday at Byrd. The Lady Panthers are No. 23 in the 5A power rankings and virtually assured of a playoff berth.

NOTE: The above report is based on box scores and play-by-play on teams’ official GameChanger accounts and information received from coaches.

— Russell Hedges, rhedges@bossierpress.com