Lady Cardinals take district softball opener
Last updated 3/12/2023 at 5:12pm
Despite playing without several regular starters the Bridge City Lady Cardinals hit the ball hard to win their district opener. The Lady Cardinals beat the Silsbee Lady Tigers 16-6 at Bridge City on Tuesday, March 7.
Three or four regulars in the Bridge City lineup did not play, but the Lady Cardinals showed some true depth as the replacements with the other starters pounded out sixteen hits. They were able to invoke the ten-run rule in the sixth inning.
Haley Munoz opened the bottom of the first with a single to left field for Bridge City. Makenna Carey had a sore throwing arm so was only used in the role of courtesy runner in the game. Carey ran for Munoz the Lady Cardinals’ catcher and Makenna scored the first run on a ground out by Kyleigh Hamilton.
Lexi Nugier started the second with a base hit to left that eluded the Lady Tiger outfielder allowing her to go to second base. Makenna Knight brought Nugier home with a double to the left field fence.
With two outs Munoz reached base again when she was hit by a pitch and Carey ran for her. Nicole Sasser singled to drive in Knight before Hamilton singled to center scoring Carey and Sasser. Anna Autrey drove in Hamilton with the fifth run of the inning to put the Lady Cardinals up 6-0 after two innings.
Four more runs crossed the plate in the fourth for Bridge City. Sasser got a one-out single then stole second and third. Hamilton walked and Cambree LaComb was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Autrey blooped a fly that just stayed fair inside the right field line to score Sasser as the Lady Cardinals increased their lead to seven runs with the bases still loaded.
Knight was starting at second base because of Carey’s injured arm. Knight cleared the bases with her second double of the game making it 10-0 in favor of Bridge City.
Freshman pitcher Cambree LaComb got the start in the circle because of an injury to last year’s district MVP Carson Fall. LaComb was almost untouchable the first four innings allowing only two hits and three walks while striking out five Lady Tigers.
Silsbee scored three runs in the fifth that were added by a couple of loose fielding plays by the Lady Cardinals. Knight made a nice grab of a line drive to retire the Lady Tigers and end the rally.
Bridge City got two runs in the bottom of the fifth. Amaris Larkin led off with a bunt single and promptly stole second base before going to third on a passed ball. Munoz walked bringing in Carey to courtesy run who stole a base. Larkin and Carey scored on ground outs by Sasser and Hamilton.
The Lady Tigers stayed alive tallying three more runs in the sixth. LaComb picked up her sixth strikeout of the game in that inning.
The Lady Cardinals wasted little time securing the win in their half of the sixth. Autrey doubled off the center field fence and Nugier doubled to drive her home going to third on the throw to the plate.
Having a great night was Makenna Knight who drove in her fifth run of the game with a single and taking second on the throw home. A sacrifice moved Knight to third where she scored on a hit by Larkin.
Munoz reached base for the fourth time when she was hit by pitch again allowing Carey to courtesy run. Sasser ended the game by smashing a pitch to the left field fence scoring Larkin with the clinching run but also scored Carey with another run had the ten-run rule not been invoked.
Coach Raven Harris was obviously pleased with a Lady Cardinal win to begin district action. “We hit the ball well. I’m really proud about that because we’ve been working on situational hitting and just getting runs across. We did not play as well defensively, but we’ve got us something to work on in practice. Overall, I’m very happy with how we did today,” Harris commented.
Harris was a pitcher herself when she was a player, and she reflected on Cambree LaComb in her first district pitching performance. “We talked a lot throughout this game that just because you put somebody on base does not mean we’ve got to panic. That is something we’re going to work on in the upcoming weeks. Cambree threw a great game one through four and not a bad game for the rest of it, but you could tell she started putting a lot of pressure on herself. She pitches better, significantly better, when she plays loose,” Harris analyzed.
Of the expected regulars that were missing for Bridge City versus Silsbee only Brooklyn Droddy started versus Little Cypress Mauriceville on Friday. Harris indicated she is anticipating pitcher Carson Fall will be able to throw this coming Friday’s game against the Vidor Lady Pirates. The coach is hopeful the scheduled bye on Tuesday will give a few more days rest which will also get Marlie Strong and Makenna Carey back in the starting lineup for the Lady Cardinals.