Canyon High graduate Amanda Doyle joined teammates in a celebratory procession around Tiger Park in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on Monday.
The Louisiana State University softball players slapped hands with adoring fans through the protective netting after beating Louisiana Lafayette, 5-1, to advance to a best-of-three Super Regional in the NCAA Division 1 softball tournament (LSU will play at No. 4 Florida State starting Friday).
It was hard-earned. The No. 13 Tigers lost Saturday in the second round of the double-elimination regional and had to win three straight win-or-go-home games to advance.
Doyle, a .275 freshman hitter who went 1-for-14 in the regional, was one of five Santa Clarita Valley products to advance to a Super Regional.
Saugus High graduate Mariah Lopez and No. 10 Oklahoma had an even tougher time.
The Sooners dropped their opener to North Dakota State on Saturday, then reeled off four straight wins to move on, the last of which came Monday (3-0 over Tulsa).
Lopez, a freshman, struggled in a 5-3 win over Arkansas on Saturday, allowing three runs without recording an out. But she bounced back with 5 1/3 strong innings Sunday in a 10-2 win over North Dakota State.
She allowed two runs on seven hits, striking out six and walking one.
Oklahoma will play at No. 7 Auburn on Friday.
West Ranch High grad Jessie Harper, one of the final 10 candidates for National Fastpitch Coaches Association Division 1 Freshman of the Year, went 0-for-10 in the tournament for No. 2 Arizona. But the Wildcats still coasted to a Super Regional – winning by a combined score of 25-0.
Arizona will host No. 15 Baylor on Friday.
Saugus High grad Madeline Jelenicki and No. 5 UCLA coasted too, winning all three games by a composite score of 27-3.
Jelenicki homered in all three games, going 5-for-10 with six RBIs in the tournament.
UCLA will host No. 12 Ole Miss starting Thursday.
West Ranch grad Lauren Lindvall and No. 3 Oregon finished the regional it hosted 3-0 – with one close call.
After a 13-0 win over Illinois-Chicago, the Ducks slipped by Wisconsin 6-5 in the second round.
Oregon then beat the Badgers 9-0 on Sunday to advance to a Super Regional where it will host No. 14 Kentucky starting Friday.