PAnews.com, Port Arthur, Texas

March 25, 2013

District 20-4a softball heads to second half

David Coleman
The Port Arthur News

— District 20-4A softball teams will be putting their game faces on this week, and it’s not just because they’ll have two games in three days starting Tuesday.

The second half of district play officially opens this week and teams will start thinking about playoff positioning in earnest. After six games, the only thing that’s clear is Little Cypress-Mauriceville will be hard to beat.

LC-M finished the first half a perfect 7-0, beating Vidor 2-1 in nine innings last Friday. Raven Cole, the pitcher who fuels the Lady Bears, struck out 17 in a complete game victory.

After LC-M, things get murkier. Vidor, Nederland and PN-G are all tied for second place and fill out the rest of the playoff picture. The Lady Pirates will be looking to bounce back from that loss to LC-M on Tuesday when they travel to play Nederland  (17-7, 5-2 in 20-4A) at 7 p.m. Tuesday.

The Lady Bulldogs remained in a tie for second place by beating Central 15-0 last Friday in a three inning game. Savana Guidry hit a home run while Jensen Richard had a triple and Tori Cooper, Nicole Matise, Jenny Freeman and Brittany Hanks each had doubles.

Nederland beat Vidor 16-3 to open district play on February 26, so the Lady Bulldogs will have an important tiebreaker edge if they can beat Vidor again.

PN-G (13-7, 5-2) will travel to Lumberton at 7 p.m. Tuesday. The Lady Indians beat Livingston 5-1 last Friday to finish the first half. Shelby Valentine picked up the victory for PN-G, striking out six and walking one in seven innings of work.

The Lady Indians have lost to both LC-M and Vidor in the first half, but beat Nederland at home. They get both LC-M and Vidor at the Reservation in the second half. If they can maintain that homefield advantage, the Lady Indians could make a run in the second half.

The Port Arthur Memorial softball team will have to wait until Thursday to move to District 21-5A’s second half, as the Lady Titans host La Porte at 6:45 p.m. Tuesday before opening the second half by hosting Deer Park on Thursday.

On the baseball side, the two Mid-County teams may still be recovering from their marathon 11-inning contest on Friday. Logan Ashworth’s home run in the bottom of the 11th dealt Nederland its first district loss of the season and bumped them out of first place in favor of a 4-0 Lumberton squad.

In a bid to get back on track, Nederland (13-3, 3-1 in 20-4A) will host Beaumont Ozen at 7 p.m. Tuesday.

Port Neches-Groves (8-9, 3-1) will travel to Vidor at 7 p.m. Tuesday, hoping to ride some momentum that has seen the Indians win their last three district contests.

Port Arthur Memorial (8-7, 1-2 in 21-5A) will host Baytown Sterling at 6 p.m. Tuesday in an important district contest as the Titans try to stay in the playoff hunt.