The Port Arthur News
Ugly wins count just the same in the playoffs as they do during the regular season. Nederland beat Crosby 2-1 in the Class 4A bidistrict round of the playoffs in a game that was just about as close as the score makes it seem.
“If this were the third week of district, I’d say, ‘Great ugly win,’ but there are no ugly wins in the playoffs,” said Nederland head coach Monte Barrow, who is now 8-0 since taking over the Lady Bulldogs. “We talk about seeding not mattering because everyone is desperate. Every team has seniors who don’t want to go home. It’s going to be like that every week in the playoffs. We were fortunate to do what we talk about every week and just had one more run than the other team.”
Nederland (20-6) will play the winner of Montgomery and Caney Creek in the area round at a site and time to be determined.
In a nip and tuck game that saw both teams threaten more than they actually scored, it was Nederland who came up with timely hits once again this season.
Junior right fielder Kelly Bergeron scalded a double over the head of Crosby’s left fielder to score Brianna Miller from second in the bottom of the fourth inning. That gave Nederland a 2-1 lead and sort of redeemed Bergeron for striking out looking two innings earlier.
“At that point, I just needed redemption for the last at-bat,” Bergeron said. “I just wanted to come in and do what I needed to do to help my team.”
With senior Emily Nolan running fever for most of Friday, it was up to the Bulldog underclassmen to step up and take the lead. Leave it to a freshman to do just that, as shortstop Savana Guidry made play after play in the field and scored the game’s first run.
Guidry got on with one out in the third inning, hitting a line drive single over the head of Crosby’s first baseman. Tori Cooper sacrificed Guidry over to second, but reached safely on the play. The throw to first to get Cooper hit her in the back as she hit the bag, allowing both her and Guidry to move up another base.
Guidry then scored on a very savvy play. Nolan hit a comebacker at the pitcher, who caught the ball, turned and fired to first for the inning’s second out.
The freshman had a good lead and broke for the plate as soon as the pitcher threw the ball to first, then made a great slide around catcher Ariel Clogston, sneaking a hand across the plate to tie the game at 1-1.
“A coach can’t tell her anything at that point,” Barrow said. “I didn’t say a word to her, that’s all on her. She had a great lead and her momentum was taking her home when the ball was let go. That was a great effort. It’s something you may not expect from a freshman, but I think a lot of people on this team are starting to expect a lot from her.”
Nederland starting pitcher MaKayla Kelly was very good at pitching around bits of trouble. The junior finished the game allowing five hits, one run, three walks while striking out three to earn the victory.
Crosby’s Abby Walker allowed four hits, two runs and three walks while striking out five.
Nederland 2, Crosby 1
Crosby 001 000 0 — 1 5 1
Ned 011 000 X — 2 4 2
MaKayla Kelly and Emily Nolan; Abby Walker and Ariel Clogston.
W - Kelly. L - Walker.
Leading hitters: NED — Emily Nolan 0-1, 2 BBs, RBI; Savana Guidry 2-3, run scored, SB; Kelly Bergeron 1-2, 2B, GW RBI; Brianna Miller 1-2, SB, run scored.
Records: Nederland (20-6).