SOFTBALL: All-star comeback: Boudreaux’s heroics earn MVP honor

Published 9:28 pm Thursday, June 14, 2018

CROSBY — Brooke Smith sparked the comeback with a single. It was up to her Port Neches-Groves classmate to keep it going.

Kaitlyn Boudreaux delivered a two-out double to center field to drive in two runs and put the East ahead in a five-run seventh that gave the team an 8-5 win over the West on Thursday in the Christus All-Star Classic softball game.

Boudreaux, a catcher, went 2 for 4, connecting on clutch doubles in her last two at-bats. She earned the East’s Most Valuable Player award.

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“It means a lot to me,” Boudreaux said. “I obviously struggled at the beginning of the game, so I had to just trust myself and trust my swing and really see the ball in.”

And she delivered one last victory to her high school coach, Jessica Lemoine.

“The whole thing is exciting,” Lemoine said. “For me to get to coach a group of kids who are special to me one more game and to have them be an integral part to finish things out on the upside … it just pulls at the heartstrings a little bit.”

The East stormed from a 3-0 deficit with two runs in the fifth. Kristan Traxler of Nederland led off with a single and scored on a passed ball, and Kassidy Wilbur of Bridge City hit a one-out single to score Aleka Xayaseng of Kirbyville to close the gap.

“We had been talking about it for about a couple of weeks now,” Boudreaux said. “We had been practicing and getting to know each other. So we knew each other’s strengths and we knew that we could come back and get that win. So, that’s exactly what we did. We never stopped fighting and didn’t stop believing.

Wilbur, who started the game in the circle, came back in the seventh and struck out the last two after hitting the leadoff batter to earn the victory. She and Boudreaux will play at Stephen F. Austin.

“It’s a great feeling knowing I get to wear my jersey one more time and we came out with a win,” Wilbur said. She finished with four strikeouts.

Kaylee Ancelot of Orangefield worked three innings and Britni Hunt of PNG threw the sixth inning.

Boudreaux led off the sixth with a double and scored on a sacrifice bunt by Jonee Villanueva of Little Cypress-Mauriceville to tie the game at 3-3. It was 5-3 in the West’s favor after Dayton’s Hailey Pence slapped a two-run double. Pence went 2 for 3 to earn the West MVP honor.

Then came the East’s seventh-inning onslaught.

Xayaseng reached on a fielder’s choice with one out and scored on Smith’s double, her second hit of the night. Wilbur flew out, but Ancelot walked to bring up Boudreaux for her two-run double. Faith Jackson of Ozen walked and Boudreaux scored on a single by Taylor Woods of Newton, bringing up Kristin Broussard of Orangefield for a single to drive Jackson in.

“We were never down in the dugout, so that helped us to stay in the game,” Wilbur said.

I.C. Murrell: 721-2435. Twitter: @ICMurrellPANews

About I.C. Murrell

I.C. Murrell was promoted to editor of The News, effective Oct. 14, 2019. He previously served as sports editor since August 2015 and has won or shared eight first-place awards from state newspaper associations and corporations. He was born in Memphis, Tennessee, grew up mostly in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, and graduated from the University of Arkansas at Monticello.

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