Home Sports-Free High school softball: Parish teams loaded with veteran talent; season begins Tuesday

High school softball: Parish teams loaded with veteran talent; season begins Tuesday

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The high school softball regular season begins Tuesday and Bossier Parish teams are loaded with veteran talent.

In openers, Airline hosts North Webster, Benton hosts Caldwell Parish and Haughton visits 2021 Class 5A semifinalist West Monroe.

Airline reached the Class 5A state championship game last season, falling to Barbe 3-1. Despite injuries to their two top pitchers in the regular season, the Lady Vikings finished 20-6 and shared the District 1-5A championship with Natchitoches Central.

For the first time since the 2017 season, Airline won’t have ace pitcher Raelin Chaffin in the circle. One of the nation’s top players, Chaffin now plays for LSU.

However, the Lady Vikings have a solid core group returning.

Leading the way is senior infielder Paris Endris, a first-team All-State selection last season. The Louisiana Tech signee batted .517 with 11 home runs and 44 RBI.

Also returning are first-team All-District selections Jina Baffuto, Elena Heng and Paige Marshall.

Baffuto, a senior four-year starter, batted .489 with four home runs and 23 RBI last season.

Heng, a sophomore, made the All-District team as a catcher. Airline Head Coach Brittany Frazier Smith said Heng could play just about any position this season but will mainly be at catcher or in centerfield.

Marshall, a sophomore, had 28 RBI last season.

Two freshmen — Aleena Duran and Emily Rachal — are expected to share the pitching load.

Haughton returns first-team All-State senior infielder Brooklynn Bockhaus, the Outstanding Player on the All-District and All-Parish teams. The South Alabama signee batted .538 last season.

She also set school season records with 19 home runs and 71 RBI.

Also returning are first-team All-District senior outfielder Averi Phillips, second-team junior pitcher Macey Schut, second-team junior infielder Sara White and second-team sophomore outfielder Chloe Stanfield.

Phillips had 33 RBI and six home runs last season. White had 35 RBI and nine home runs. Stanfield batted .386 and had 27 RBI.

Benton returns every player who played in last season’s 4-0 loss to West Monroe in the second round of the playoffs.

First-team All-District selections returning are junior infielder Sophia Livers, junior pitcher Ava Defee and senior outfielder Kennedy LaPierre.

Livers, a shortstop, batted .495 with 11 doubles, four triples, seven home runs and 31 RBI. Defee struck out 143 in 93 innings. LaPierre batted .416.

Returning second-team selections are senior infieder Megan Risher, sophomore infielder Christina Gegg, senior outfielder Laci Hedgepeth and senior utility Tayler Gonzalez.

Marissa Schoth, Olivia Burns, Meaux Carroll and Piper Stephens are also back from a team that finished 15-15.

Parkway has two returning first-team All-District selections off last year’s 10-17 team — junior infielder Mikaylah Williams and sophomore utility Chloe Larry.

Larry batted .616 with six home runs and 36 RBI. Williams batted .508 with 12 home runs and 36 RBI.

Bossier will be looking to improve on last season’s 2-13 mark. Plain Dealing only got in seven games last season, including one in the playoffs.

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