photo by Advocate Staff - Patrick DennisOutstanding Player: Baylie Doiron, Zachary
Doiron had a hand — and most often a solid pitching arm — in nearly everything the Broncos did to advance to the Class 5A title game. Doiron pitched every inning of every game and finished 26-6 with 328 strikeouts and a 1.73 ERA. Opponents batted just .189 against Doiron, who also hit .379 with seven home runs and 24 RBIs.
Coach of the Year: Leslie Efferson-Yellott, Zachary
Skeptics may have questioned the Broncos’ No. 2 playoff seed, but there was no doubt about Efferson-Yellott’s ability to game-plan and implore her team to win. Zachary advanced to the state title game for the first time in 24 years and was the 5A runner-up.
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When Courtney Liddle Barbour watched Zachary High play in the Class 5A title-game at the LHSAA State Softball tournament, she was focused on recruiting.
At the time, Barbour was an assistant coach at McNeese State. Barbour was hired as the head softball coach at Zachary on Thursday.
“I already knew a good bit about Zachary because we looked at a couple of their players,” Barbour said. “By watching the final, I got a chance to see the talent Zachary had, not only with those seniors but also the younger players.
“It’s one of those things that worked out well for me and I’m so thankful for this opportunity. Zachary is one of the best schools in the state. I’m excited and ready to get started.”
Zachary softball standout Baylie Doiron’s perspective of pitching has changed over the years
Advocate staff photo by PATRICK DENNIS --Zachary starting pitcher Baylie Doiron (15), warms up in the third inning of Zachary's 5-0 win over Natchitoches Central Monday in a Class 5-A playoff game.
ROBIN FAMBROUGH| RFAMBROUGH@THEADVOCATE.COM
For the majority of her softball career, Baylie Doiron thought of herself as a hitter. Pitcher was just the position she played.
That all changed the past three years in a big way. Proof comes in this form — Zachary’s Doiron is one of the pitchers for the East team going into the LHSCA all-star games set for Friday and Saturday at Louisiana College in Pineville. Game times are 6 p.m. Friday and noon Saturday.
“I’ve never seen the all-star games, but I know a couple of people who played in them and I’m looking forward to it,” Doiron said. “Being on the same field with the best players in Louisiana. … That’s exciting for me.
“I’m going in there with the idea that I’ll have a chance to see a lot and learn a lot. It’s a great opportunity.”
I wanted to share these pictures with everyone because this labor of love is so dear to my heart.
This is the 6th year the Zachary High School Softball Team has been making monthly trips to the LA War Veterans' Home in Jackson, LA. We couldn't think of a better place to celebrate our success than with these precious men we have all grown incredibly close to over the years. Prior to arriving today, I was informed that 3 of the veterans that we had grown to love over the years had passed away. I cannot express my gratitude to the ZCSB for allowing us to visit these men on a regular basis. My softball players have one hour per month in which they devote their time and full attention to the true heroes of our society...the ones who sacrificed much and are often forgotten.
Before we left today, one of the men told the team that he would not cry in front of them, but would definitely later while in private because it meant so much to him for is to simply remember him. We might have fallen a tad short of our ultimate goal in softball this year by placing 2nd in the state, but this is truly what coaching is about in my opinion. Former players are still making trips to visit these men after their time at ZHS is over. Last summer, 6 players and I attending the funeral of Mr. Willie Moon in Mississippi.
My team has not only been successful, they have loved, lost, and learned some unforgettable life lessons along the way. I'm so proud of this softball team, and I thank God I have had the honor to coach them.
Zachary coach Leslie Efferson-Yellott fought back tears as she watched her team shake hands with the Alexandria players.
“At one point I thought we played a little tight and maybe lost a little intensity,” she said. “Oh my gosh, I am so proud of these kids. This senior group … they were 9-20 when they were freshmen, and look at where we are. That’s a very good team over there. We came in and played well from the time we got here yesterday. I couldn’t ask any more of them.”
Alexandria beats Zachary 7-0 in Class 5A state softball title game
Associated Press photo via (Lake Charles)Zachary second baseman Hannah Dixon makes the catch for an out as St. Amant's Taylor Tidwell lunges for the bag in a Class 5A quarterfinal at the LHSAA state softball tournament Friday in Sulphur.
Leslie Efferson-Yellott took a few seconds to ponder what had just happened as second-seeded Zachary High rallied from a three-run deficit to beat seventh-seeded St. Amant High.
“When you think about it, softball is a game of failure,” Efferson-Yellott said. “If you succeed three times out of 10, that’s considered to be a good thing.
“What are the odds that it would happen that way? A kid comes up with a chance to put her team ahead and doesn’t. She gets the same chance 30 minutes later and does it. It’s incredible, I’m so happy for Lakyn Wales.”
Wales’ RBI single up the middle brought Hannah Dixon in to score the game-winning run, giving Zachary a 5-4 victory over St. Amant.
It was one of three Class 5A quarterfinal games involving Baton Rouge area teams on the first day of the Allstate Sugar Bowl/LHSAA Fast Pitch 56 State Softball tournament.
And it had all the ingredients of a classic.