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Notre Dame’s Mary Kate Bourgeois makes a leaping grab in center field Thursday during the Lady Pios 5-1 victory over North Vermilion at Hensgens Park. (Photo by Jason Faul)

Lady Pios cruise past North Vermilion

CROWLEY - Thursday's matchup between former district rivals North Vermilion and Notre Dame turned out to be a classic pitchers duel between Lady Patriots' hurler Shelby Breaux and Lady Pios' ace Marcella Gossen.
The duo combined to give up just four hits through four scoreless innings in a batter between the two perennial powers.
But after two times through the lineup, it was the Lady Pios who found their grove.
Notre Dame (3-0) tagged Breaux for five runs on five hits over the final two frames to take a 5-1 victory over the previously-unbeaten Lady Patriots.
"We knew coming in that this was going to be a battle. They are a really good team," said ND coach Ashley Ray of North Vermilion, which fell to 10-1 with the loss.
"Their pitcher really shut us down for a while, but we were able to make some adjustments and put some good swings on the ball."
Gossen logged the Lady Pios' third hit of the game in the fifth inning and back-to-back walks with two outs set the table for Kennedy Smith.
Smith did not disappoint.
After working the count full and fouling off a handful of pitches, Smith squared up a fastball from Breaux and drove it to the right center field gap for a three-run triple.
"Kennedy came through in the fifth with a huge hit that was much needed," said Ray. "She hit it probably in the deepest part of the park and she hit it hard. For a moment, we thought it might leave the park, but it fell just short."
The Lady Pios looked as if they had tacked on another run when Mary Kate Bourgeois followed with a single. But she was called out for being out of the batters box on the hit to end the inning.
"We thought we had another run right there," said Ray. "That kind of sucked a little life out of the girls, but I told them to keep their heads up and we were going to come back in the sixth and get some more (runs)."
And they did exactly that.
Melise Gossen led off the bottom of the sixth with a single to center field and two batters later, Sydnei Simon blasted a two-run home run over the left field wall to put the Lady Pios up 5-0.
"Sydnei hit a line drive shot out and that really did keep our momentum going," said Ray. "After the call in the bottom of the fifth, it was big for her (Simon) to come out and do that."
North Vermilon finally got on the board in the top of the seventh on back-to-back doubles by Brittany Primeaux and Holly Necaise and had two runners on before Breaux's flyout to Bourgeois in center field ended the game.
Marcella Gossen surrendered just five hits and walked three in earning the victory in the circle. She struck out five in seven innings.
"Marcella threw such a good game," said Ray. "They (North Vermilion) had a couple hard hits, but other than that, she put the ball where she needed to for our defense to make good plays."
Breaux suffered the loss after allowing five runs on seven hits and three walks. She struck out four.
The Gossen twins combined for four of those hits with each going 2-for-3 on the day. Smith tripled, Simon homered and Maddi Link had a single.
Breaux paced the Lady Patriots with two hits and Necaise had a double and an RBI.

Lady Pios slip by
St. Thomas More

LAFAYETTE – The Lady Pios jumped out to an early lead and then fended off a late rally to slip past St. Thomas More Friday afternoon, 7-4, in the opening game of the Teurlings Tournament.
Melise Gossen singled in one run and Abbey Higginbotham had a two-run single to left in the first inning to give the Lady Pios a quick 3-0 advantage.
The Lady Cougars got one run back in the top of the second.
Notre Dame got going again in the third inning with a pair of runs on an RBI-single from Marcella Gossen and an RBI-double by Link.
Higginbotham added a sacrifice fly in the fourth inning and Simon plated another run on a single to left field, giving the Lady Pios a 7-1 advantage.
The Lady Cougars tallied their final three runs in the top of the fifth on a pair of walks and a 3-run home run.
Marcella Gossen earned her fourth straight victory in the circle after surrendering four runs on five hits and four walks. She also had one hit and an RBI.
Higginbotham was 2-for-3 with three RBI and Kennedy Smith also had two hits.
Melise Gossen, Simon, Link and Ellen Brown each had one hit for the Lady Pios.

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