The No. 4 seed Central Lady Wildcats pulled away late for an 8-0 victory over the No. 13 Airline Lady Vikings in the second round of the Class 5A softball playoffs Thursday in Baton Rouge.
District 1-5A co-champion Airline closed an outstanding season 22-10 with a roster dominated by talented freshmen and sophomores.
Central (24-6) advanced to next week’s Allstate Sugar Bowl/LHSAA State Softball Tournament at Frasch Park in Alexandria. The Lady Wildcats will face No. 5 Sam Houston, a 3-1 winner over No. 12 Mandeville, in the 5A quarterfinals.
Airline’s loss leaves Benton as the only Bossier Parish school still alive. The No. 12 Lady Tigers (16-15) face No. 5 South Terrebonne (23-7) in a Class 4A second-round game at noon Saturday in Bourg.
Central pitcher Heather Zumo pitched a four-hitter with five strikeouts.
Airline was very much in the game through the first five innings. Central scored three runs in the bottom of the third and the score remained 3-0 until the sixth when the Lady Wildcats put five more on the board.
Central had two doubles and three singles in the inning. Four Lady Wildcats had multiple hits in the game. Kaylie Chauvin went 3-for-4 with two RBI.
Airline’s Jessica Baffuto, Kourtnee White, Jessica Grubbs and Lexi Gray had singles. Baffuto and White are sophomores. Grubbs and Gray are freshmen. All four had outstanding seasons along with sophomore Maddie Ennis and freshman Caroline Easom.
Hannah Hutson, Airline’s lone senior, pitched five innings and allowed three earned runs.
— Russell Hedges, firstname.lastname@example.org