Lady Cardinals Remain Undefeated in District Softball
Last updated 4/5/2022 at 10:55am
The second half of the district softball season started last week and the Bridge City Lady Cardinals remained perched at the top of the standings. The Lady Cardinals were undefeated in their first seven district ball games.
Win number six for Bridge City was on Tuesday, March 29 at Lumberton. The Lady Raiders came into that game trailing the Lady Cardinals by just one game in the district standings and could have tied for the first half lead with a win.
The contest was a classic pitchers' duel between Carson Fall of the Lady Cardinals and Sydnie Cline for the Lady Raiders. Bridge City edged Lumberton 2-0 to stay undefeated while handing the Lady Raiders their second loss in district.
Bridge City's Fall was marvelous pitching a perfect game retiring all 21 Lady Raider batters she faced including a remarkable 19 of them with strikeouts. Cline was herself brilliant for Lumberton pitching a two-hitter with one walk and striking out 13 Lady Cardinals.
Runs were at a premium for both teams. Marlie Strong drove in one of the runs for the Lady Cardinals. Lexi Nugier and Olivia Hornsby scored the two runs for Bridge City.
Three nights later the Lady Cardinals began the second half of district with their eighth straight district win 8-0 over West Orange-Stark. Carson Fall was again outstanding in the circle for Bridge City pitching a one hitter and striking out 19 Lady Mustangs.
Makenna Carey, Marlie Strong, and Brooklyn Droddy each had two hits in the game for Bridge City. Carey also reached on a walk and accounted for half the team's runs.
Nataleigh Sims for the Lady Mustangs threw her best game in the district season so far. Sims only walked two Lady Cardinals and struck out three in her six innings of work that night.
On the final Tuesday night in March two other teams battling for playoff positioning played as the Orangefield Lady Bobcats traveled to face the Little Cypress-Mauriceville Lady Bears. Only one game separated the pair in the standings with the Lady Bears at 4-1 and the Lady Bobcats at 3-2 before the game started.
Orangefield opened the scoring in the first inning. Madison Hughes got a one-out walk before Harleigh Rawls singled to centerfield. Abigail Curphey followed with another single to right that scored Hughes with the initial run ahead of a throw to the plate which allowed Rawls and Curphey to advance another base.
Lady Bear pitcher Cami Shugart then settled down. She struck out the next two Lady Bobcats to hold the Orangefield rally to one run.
Shugart pitched masterfully the rest of the game striking out twelve and allowed only two more base runners over the last six innings on a hit batter in the fourth and a single by Paris Becker in the seventh. "Cami again tonight, that's two games in a row where, she's just had great control of the ball and great composure on the mound and she's really getting it done for us on defense," Lady Bear Coach Dena Adkins exclaimed.
Orangefield's Curphey escaped a scary first when the Lady Bears got their first two batters Jacelyn Cook and Shugart on base. Curphey retired the meat of the LCM order Lexis Moss, Ava Wright, and Keylie Washburn to get out of the inning unscathed.
The top of the lineup also started the bottom of the third inning for Little Cypress-Mauriceville. Cook walked for the second time and scored the tying run when Shugart reached on an error.
Moss grounded out moving Shugart to third. Wright doubled down the left field line to drive home Shugart making the score 2-1 in favor of the Lady Bears. Washburn singled to bring in Wright with LCM's third run of the inning and went to third when the ball was misplayed in the outfield by the Lady Bobcats.
After a walk to Jillian Brown, Rhylan Wilson hit a short fly to right on which Washburn tagged and beat the throw home to make the score 4-1 in favor of the Lady Bears. Ansley Moore hit a line drive that just ticked off the extended glove of the Orangefield second baseman for a single to score courtesy runner Ashlynn Wilson.
In the sixth inning for the third time Cook was the first Lady Bear batter, and again she started a rally. Cook singled, stole second, and went to third when the throw down to second base got away. Wright delivered a clutch two-out hit to bring Cook home with the final run of the game.
Little Cypress-Mauriceville secured second place for the first half of the district race with the win one game behind Bridge City and one game ahead of Lumberton. Coach Adkins was happy with her team's comeback victory and the progress they have made this season. "Considering where we started this year and where we are now I'm very, very proud of all these girls coming together and finding a way to play together and becoming a team. Everybody on this team has a role and they're all contributing to these wins," Adkins assured.
The second half started on April 1 with the Lady Bears almost having a misstep against the Silsbee Lady Tigers who were looking for only their second win in district. LCM won a thriller 11-10 in eight innings using five errors by the Lady Tigers to secure the victory.
The hero was freshman Ella Stephenson for the Lady Bears. Stephenson had a single to drive in the first run of the game, a bases loaded double to bring home three more runs late in the game, and a squeeze bunt that scored what proved to be the winning run in the eighth inning.
Lady Bear pitcher Cami Shugart was not one hundred percent, and Adkins had to pull her in the third. Jacelyn Cook finished the game and got the win for LCM. Adkins indicated it is unclear whether Shugart was hurt and what her status is for the upcoming week.
The Orangefield Lady Bobcats lost 8-1 to the Vidor Lady Pirates at Paul Cormier Field on the first day of April. The Lady Bobcats have dropped four of their last five games in district.
The Lady Pirates jumped on Orangefield pitcher Abigail Curphey for three runs in the first inning and added one in the third before tallying four more in the fifth to clinch the big win for themselves. The Lady Bobcats dropped into a tie with Vidor for fourth place in the district.
Orangefield Coach Rebekah Ragsdale said the Lady Bobcats have been struggling since the tight loss to Bridge City three weeks ago. "In that game I thought we played exceptionally well, and I thought we played exceptionally well up to that point, but since then we just haven't. I know with a young group we're going to have a lot of inconsistencies, but we do have to find a way to pull ourselves out of it to play well again," Ragsdale evaluated.
The West Orange-Stark Lady Mustangs lost 14-4 against the Silsbee Lady Tigers on the last Tuesday night in March. Both teams were looking for their first win in district.
The loss was a tough one for West Orange-Stark despite some good hitting from several Lady Mustangs. Erika Jordan went three for three and drove in a run. T'Era Garrett hit a solo homerun her third in district play, scored two runs, and walked twice.
Tykeira Montgomery went one for three with an RBI for the Lady Mustangs. Nataleigh Sims hit a double, walked, and scored a run. Rayven Gales scored a run and went one for two.
After two weeks of district games only one game separated the top four teams in the District 22-4A baseball standings with Little Cypress-Mauriceville in first place leading Orangefield by half a game while both Bridge City and Silsbee were a full game behind the Bears. The race got even tighter after the games of Tuesday, March 29.
The Orangefield Bobcats beat the previously undefeated LCM Bears to take over first place by a half game over the Bears. The Bridge City Cardinals and the Silsbee Tigers won their games resulting in a three-way tie with LCM for second place behind the Bobcats.
Orangefield exploded offensively with a 23-1 blowout at Little Cypress-Mauriceville. "We knew it was going to be a good day to hit here. This park is smaller than most and then plus we knew the wind was blowing straight out," Coach Tim Erickson of Orangefield analyzed.
The Bobcats scored three runs in the first inning and did not stop putting runners across home plate until they scored 13 times in the sixth. The hitting stars were up and down the Orangefield lineup. Kolbie Sowell had a three-run homer in the final inning, and Kyle Michael smacked two doubles in that same inning.
Bobcat pitcher Trent Eaves was the beneficiary of all the runs to which he too contributed multiple hits. Eaves pitched a complete game yielding only a run in the bottom of the first to get the win for Orangefield.
Little Cypress-Mauriceville lost more than the game and first place in the standings. The Bears' starting pitcher Ashton Landry sprained his right elbow in the third inning. LCM Coach Hunter Hagler said the trainer will continue to check Landry's arm to make sure it is only a sprain and nothing more serious.
The Bears lost to Silsbee in their next game without the services of Landry. The Tigers won 9-2 handing LCM its second straight loss.
Alone in first place for the first time the Bobcats kept their winning streak alive whipping Vidor 10-0 at Orangefield on April 1. The win was the fifth straight for the Bobcats and guaranteed at least a share of first place at the halfway point of the district schedule.
Pitcher Coop Longron threw the shutout and has not surrendered a run in three district starts. "Everybody plays with confidence when he's on the mound. We know what we're going to get out of him, and he threw up a bunch of zeroes tonight. That's all you can ask for," according to Erickson.
The Bobcats opened the scoring in the first inning on a single by Kolbie Sowell. Orangefield tallied three in the third and four runs in the fourth to open a big lead. Macoy Marze tripled in the sixth just missing a homer before scoring the Bobcats' tenth run to end the game.
The Bridge City Cardinals enjoyed their most impressive win in the district to that point on Tuesday, March 29. The Cardinals took the lead in the top of the first and never trailed in their 7-1 triumph at Lumberton.
Ethan Oceguera has embraced his role as the ace of the Cardinal pitching staff. Oceguera started his third district game that night, all wins for Bridge City. He went five and a third innings struck out seven and did not give up an earned run to the Raiders. Relief ace Landon Reeves closed out the game for the Cards.
The Cardinal offense was led by John Van Huis who had two hits and drove home a run. Other Bridge City runs were produced by Brice Swanton, Aidyn Mulhollan, Chasse Goodwin, and Deegan King.
Bridge City won by a bigger margin the next game on April 1 defeating West Orange-Stark 11-1 in six innings. Braylen Collins was the winning pitcher for the Cardinals and helped his own cause with a three-run homerun.
John Van Huis had a triple for Bridge City. The Cardinals stole nine bases in the game.
West Orange-Stark ended its scoreless streak in district games scoring three late runs against Silsbee on March 29. The Mustangs lost 24-3 to the Tigers to remain winless on the season.
The runs were produced on a single by William Lee, a bases loaded walk from Andrew Wilson, and Tyrone Wilson scored on a wild pitch. Mustang Coach Sergio Espinal commented, "We are playing a little better. We still need to make improvements on the offensive side."
Games played on Tuesday of this week concluded the halfway point of the district baseball schedule. Orangefield had a bye so if Bridge City beat Little Cypress-Mauriceville and Silsbee defeated Vidor there would be a three-way tie for first place between the Bobcats, the Cardinals, and the Tigers.
The second half begins on Friday, April 8, with the big game being the battle between Silsbee and Orangefield at Paul Cormier Field. The Tigers won the first meeting between the two teams 5-1 at Silsbee to start district action.