Junior catcher and LSU commitment Ethan Frey led the Rosepine to its first state baseball championship, while senior pitcher Chloe Bennett almost willed the Eagles softball team to the final for the first time since 2009.
Their exploits earned them the American Press All-Southwest Small Schools baseball and softball MVP awards.
Frey excelled at the plate, hitting .446 with nine home runs, 45 RBIs, 32 runs and 11 stolen bases. But it was his performance on the mound in the Class 2A final that turned out to be the difference-maker. In his longest outing of the season, Frey pitched a complete game in a 1-0 win over Doyle with 12 strikeouts while retiring 12 of the last 14 batters he faced.
Bennett went 26-2 while mowing down 341 batters in 170 innings with a 1.04 earned run average and five no-hitters. She was impressive at the plate, batting .520 with 54 runs, 10 doubles, 15 steals and 13 RBIs.
The LSU-Eunice signee struck out 16 batters in the Class 2A semifinals, but Doyle edged the Eagles 1-0 in extra innings.
Coach of the Year honors went to Grand Lake’s Tyler Alton and Merryville’s Jade-Renee Vizena.
Alton led the Hornets (19-2) to the 1A baseball final for the second time in program history, losing 4-1 to Oak Grove.
Vizena and the Panthers went 18-5 and reached the 1A semifinals for the first time since 2006 with a perfect run through District 4-1A.
Rosepine and Grand Lake lead the baseball team with three selections each. Joining Frey is infielder Jake Smith (.421 avg., 32 RBIs)) and outfielder Grant Ducote (.443 avg., 41 RBIs). Representing the Hornets is pitcher Devin David (8-1, 0.80 ERA, 87 Ks), infielder Kade Massey (.407 avg., 32 RBI; 7-1, 0.47 ERA) and outfielder Eli Fountain (.340 avg., 18 SB).
Rounding out the pitching staff is Singer’s Tate Hess (1.60 ERA), De-Quincy’s Gunner Gearen (9-3, 2.66 ERA) and Elizabeth’s Alex Chamberlain (11-4).
Infielder’s include Elizabeth’s Jason Gormanous (.465), Reeves’ Chase Leblanc (.537), plus outfielders Jake Armand (.396, 31 RBIs, 32 SB) of Lake Arthur.
Utility players are Bell City’s Grayson Johnson, Starks’ Conner Buxton (.462 avg., 1.75 ERA), De-Quincy’s Hadley Cooley (.306 avg., 27 RBI; 5-5, 3 Sv, 2.24 ERA, 87 Ks), Merryville’s Owen Causey (.500 avg.; 3-1, 2.81 ERA) and Kinder’s Landon Schmitz (.336 avg., 27 SB; 6-1, 2.30 ERA).
Rosepine, Merryville and Kinder lead the softball team with three selections each.
In addition to Bennett, utility player Jenna Marler (.368 avg., 13 doubles, 26 RBIs) and infielder Calyn Brister (.656 avg., 49 runs, 14 doubles, 13 HR, 63 RBIs) were honored.
Catcher Hadley Lemons (.535 avg., 36 RBIs), infielder Chloe Hamilton (.510 avg., 32 RBIs) and outfielder Megan Fuselier represented Kinder, while pitcher Riley Dyson (18-6; .507 avg., 12 HR, 44 RBIs), infielder Alyssa Duncan (.517 avg., 28 RBIs, 26 SB) and Merryville outfielder Brylee Lanier earned spots.
Lake Arthur’s Miya Breaux and Bell City’s Addy Bonsall round out the softball pitching staff and Fairview power hitter Rylee Cloud (.611) grabbed a spot in the infield.
Rounding out the softball team is outfielder Chloe Peloquin (Oberlin, .434 avg.) and utility players Kelli Ledoux (Grand Lake, .461 avg., 36 RBIs), Lakin Alexander (Oberlin, .464 avg.), Reagan Legros (Lake Arthur) and Baileigh Kellogg (DeQuincy, .536 avg.).