Lady Bears beat Lady Cardinals
Last updated 3/13/2023 at 11:49am
A big rivalry game and a key contest in the district standings was played Friday, March 10, in girls softball between two of the predicted favorites in District 19-4A. The Little Cypress Mauriceville Lady Bears beat the Bridge City Lady Cardinals 4-2 at Little Cypress Mauriceville.
The game was the district opener for the Lady Bears. Bridge City dropped to 1-1 in district having won earlier on Tuesday against Silsbee.
Two freshmen started in the circle for the cross-county rivals. Tessa Erickson pitched for Little Cypress Mauriceville and Cambree LaComb started for the second straight game because of an injury to Lady Cardinal ace Carson Fall.
After a couple of rough early innings both young ladies settled in and pitched well. Erickson struck out seven Lady Cardinals in her seven innings giving up two runs on six hits and two walks. LaComb surrendered four runs in the first two innings and then held the Lady Bears scoreless her last four innings.
The Lady Cardinals opened the scoring in the top of the first with lead off batter Haley Munoz getting a walk. As she did in Tuesday's game in Bridge City Makenna Carey who is out of the starting lineup with an arm injury courtesy ran for Munoz and scored on a two-out double down the right field line by Makenna Knight.
In the bottom half of the inning Eden Frenzel bunted for a hit to start. Jacelyn Cook laid down a beautiful bunt fielded by third baseman Anna Autrey who had no play until Frenzel tried to stretch her advance all the way to third thinking it might be left uncovered. Left fielder Amaris Larkin was very alert and came in to cover the bag taking the throw from Autrey in time to tag out Frenzel at third.
Keylie Washburn walked to put Lady Bears at first and second with one out. A fielder's choice retired Cook at third before Ava Wright singled to drive home Washburn with the tying run.
The Lady Bears grabbed the lead in the second inning with three runs. Ella Stephenson reached on a two-base throwing error with one out. Ava White lined a single off the top of a Lady Cardinal's glove to put Lady Bears at third and first.
Successive LCM batters Frenzel, Cook, and Washburn all singled to center to each drive in a run. After a second Bridge City fielding error LaComb escaped further damage inducing a soft liner and a ground ball to shortstop Lexi Nugier leaving the bases loaded.
The next half inning the Lady Cardinals answered. Nicole Sasser got a hit to right and advanced to third when the ball bounded over the head of the Lady Bear outfielder. Autrey sacrificed with a bunt to the pitcher Erickson scoring Sasser to make the score 4-2 still in favor of Little Cypress Mauriceville.
Despite there being no further scoring in the game both teams had chances to put more runs on the board. Cook led off the fourth for the Lady Bears with a triple, but Lady Cardinal right fielder Kyleigh Hamilton made a perfect throw after catching a fly ball to allow catcher Munoz to tag out Cook at the plate for a double play.
Munoz of Bridge City ripped a double high off the centerfield fence with one out in the top of the fifth. Erickson retired the next two batters on a popup and a strikeout so no damage was done.
The Lady Bears got two runners on in the fifth but a popout ended the threat. LaComb got a single to begin the sixth for the Lady Cardinals and two bunts moved her to third. Washburn made a nice play on a grounder to third that took a tricky hop to retire the side and keep LCM up by two runs.
Little Cypress Mauriceville Coach Dena Adkins was excited for her Lady Bears after the important game. "I told the girls after that win it was a team effort from the first pitch to the last pitch everybody did their job. I couldn't be prouder of them. We prepared all week, that's all we thought about, that's all we talked about, and the Lady Bears came out here and executed and they did a great job," Adkins praised.
The coach credited the pre-district tournaments for helping to find out that freshman Erickson had what it took to win a big game like this in the circle. Adkins explained, "I like to see what the girls can do in different situations. Tessa proved herself a couple times along the way, and I just felt like she'd be the girl to start this game and she did a great job."
Little Cypress Mauriceville played at Vidor on Tuesday, March 14. The Lady Bears' next game is Friday at home against Lumberton.
West Orange Stark had a tough start in district. The Lady Mustangs lost their first two games to Vidor and Lumberton. WOS played Jasper on Tuesday night and have a bye on the schedule for this Friday. The Lady Mustangs play again at home on Tuesday, March 21, against the Silsbee Lady Tigers.