In sweeping the two-game Louisiana Softball Coaches Association all-star series, the East showcased its pitching during 3-1 and 2-1 victories over the West.
The East’s Meghan Patterson of Mt. Carmel (New Orleans) was the most dominant pitcher of all. The LSU signee scattered three hits with 13 strikeouts and no walks through a combined seven innings. Patterson earned the first-game victory with three shutout innings. Grace Thaxton of Ouachita Christian (Monroe) picked up the save in tossing the final two innings at Lady Wildcat Coca-Cola Field in Pineville.
In between, Laura Ricciardone of Pope John Paul II (Slidell) allowed one run in two innings. The Harvard-bound Ricciardone became the first athlete in school history to have her jersey retired.
The two teams combined for 14 hits in the two games, but the East managed to string its safeties together at the most opportune time.
Natalie Fernandez of Live Oak (Watson) was named the East’s Most Valuable Player. Fernandez, who will play at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette next season, scored the tying run in the second game after having hit a game-winning, three-run double in the first contest. Fernandez scored on a single from Pineville’s Kari Kelone in the top of the sixth. Denham Spring’s Katie Roux raced to third and scored on a passed ball.
Emily Rousseau of Evangel Christian Academy (Shreveport) was the West’s Most Valuable Player. A Georgia signee, Rousseau pitched a one-hitter over a combined six innings in the series. She struck out 10 with two walks.
Golf: Lyons rules again
As an encore to his third consecutive Division IV-Class 2A state boys golf championship, senior Landon Lyons of Episcopal (Baton Rouge) won the eighth annual Louisiana Champions Invitational high school tournament.
Lyons shot a 1-over-par 72 at Tamahka Trails Golf Club in Marksville to edge junior Drew Boston of Parkview Baptist by one stroke. Chuck Broussard of Alexandria took third at 74.
Ali Lucas from Notre Dame of Crowley shot a 79 to repeat as the girls champion. She enjoyed a two-shot victory over runner-up Allison Kippers of Zachary. Kippers also took second in the Division I-Class 5A state tournament.
"It's funny that Landon would beat me because we're good friends," Boston said. "In multiple tournaments in the past month or two, he's won by one stroke over me."
Lucas competed with the Notre Dame boys team this past season and finished fourth in the state after having won the girls large-school classification title the previous two years.
"I'm very glad to repeat" as the Louisiana Champions winner, said Lucas, a University of Louisiana at Monroe signee. "I'm a big fan of repeating."
Football: Theltus Cobbins to sign with Kentucky
McDonogh 35 quarterback Theltus Cobbins committed to Kentucky in giving further credence to the wildly held belief that the state will feature a strong senior football recruiting class.
Without ever having visited the Southeastern Conference school, Cobbins spoke with Wildcat coach Joker Phillips by phone in announcing his decision a day before McDonogh 35 completed spring practice. Cobbins rejected written offers from Tulane, SMU, Utah and Western Kentucky, McDonogh 35 coach Wayne Reese said, and verbal offers from Oklahoma State and the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.
The 6-foot-2, 195-pound Cobbins runs the 40-yard dash in 4.44 seconds. He’s already qualified academically with a 2.7 grade-point average and a 21 on his ACT.
"I would prefer to play quarterback in college,'' said Cobbins, who was recruited by LSU and others as a cornerback or athlete. "I just want to play in the SEC where I've got competition. I want to play in a big environment. Kentucky is a good academic school, and me and the coaches have a good relationship."
Kentucky wide receivers coach Tee Martin recruited Cobbins. Martin was the quarterback of Tennessee’s 1998 national-championship team.
"Coach Martin … told me that he thinks I will be the future of Kentucky (football)," Cobbins said.
Hannan hires veteran coach
Pat Lambert will bring 30-plus years of experience to his new post as head football coach at Archbishop Hannan (Meraux). Lambert, an assistant at Hannan in 2008, was hired to replace George Templet, who resigned after spring practice.
"It's a great opportunity," said the 57-year-old Lambert, who graduated from St. Paul’s (Covington) in 1970. "They have beautiful facilities and very enthusiastic support. It's going to be interesting to see where we go from here."
Hannan was 1-8 last season, including 0-4 in District 6-1A. Lambert hasn’t been a high school head coach since 1985, when he guided Northshore (Slidell) to a state playoff appearance in its first season of varsity competition and to the only playoff victory in school history.
Lambert retired as a teacher at Covington earlier this year before being hired shortly thereafter as quarterbacks coach at Brother Martin (New Orleans). The well-traveled Lambert also has spent time as a college coach. In addition to Lambert’s appointment, Hannan hired Irvin West as athletic director and Charles Baird as girls basketball coach. West most recently was at Maurepas and Baird at Pope John Paul II (Slidell).
Boys basketball: West Monroe looking for coach
For the second time in less than two months, a Monroe-area boys basketball coach has left for Longview, Texas.
Bakari Beckwith stepped down at West Monroe to follow Casey Jones to Longview, where Beckwith will serve as Jones’ assistant. Jones left Ouachita Parish High School (Monroe) in April. Beckwith played for Jones before becoming Jones’ assistant coach prior to taking over the West Monroe program.