SULPHUR — The Port Barre Red Devils are one win away from hoisting the state championship. No. 2 seed Port Barre defeated No. 3 Kinder 1-0 in the first Class 2A semifinal on Friday at Frasch Park.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
Port Barre leadoff hitter Malani Francis reached first with a softly hit single up the middle. Two batters later, Samantha Daniels hit a ball to the Kinder shortstop but she was unable to scoop up the ball and make a throw to first.
The Red Devils had runners on the corners with one out.
Port Barre’s pinch runner left first base too early on a stolen base attempt and was called out. Kinder’s Bri Fontenot then got Denay Lachney to ground out to get out of the jam and inning.
Kinder got their first hit in the top of the third as Hillari Shuff hit a two-out single into centerfield. Daniels got out of the inning by striking out Asia Richard.
Kinder had an opportunity to score in the fourth after Bri Fontenot got a triple with one out. Daniels got the next two batters to fly out and ground out.
Port Barre then had its chance.
Blaire Young led off the bottom of the fifth with a single and then stole second base. After Fontenot got Macie Bergeron to strike out swinging, Young stole third base while Reagan Martinez was at bat. Fontenot struck out Martinez but Young scored moments later on a passed ball.
That lone run proved to be enough as Port Barre held on for the 1-0 victory.
BIG NUMBER: 13
The two pitchers in Friday’s semifinal were dealing as they combined for 13 strikeouts while surrendering only five hits, and only one extra base hit.
PLAYER OF THE GAME: SAMANTHA DANIELS
The Port Barre pitcher pitched a two-hit shutout while striking out six Kinder batters. Daniels also went 1-for-2 at the plate with a single and a walk.
UP NEXT: Port Barre (28-6) will face the winner of No. 1 Many vs. No. 4 Doyle in Saturday’s Class 2A championship game. First pitch is set for noon.