PAnews.com, Port Arthur, Texas

Sports

May 7, 2013

Lady Cards face UCA in SLC softball tourney

BEAUMONT — BEAUMONT —  The Lamar Lady Cardinals are out to prove they belong to be in the Southland Conference Softball Tournament.

After being picked to finish dead last in the regular season and being the only team not to have a player receive first-team or second-team All-Southland Conference honors, the Lady Cardinals finished in fifth place in the conference in their first season of softball since 1987. Lamar wrapped up a tournament berth on the final weekend by sweeping Houston Baptist in a three-game series.

“It’s great for the program that we’re going to the tournament in our first season,” Lamar coach Holly Bruder said. “We created our own destiny. However, we’re not satisfied to just go to the tournament. We want to make some noise while we are there.”

Lamar (24-33 overall, 14-13 Southland) takes on fourth-seeded Central Arkansas in the tourney opener at 11 a.m. Thursday at Northwestern State in Natchitoches, La. Central Arkansas swept a three-game series from visiting Lamar on April 27-28, winning each game by two runs.

“We proved we can play with them,” Bruder said. “We were in every game.”

Central Arkansas (36-18, 15-10) is led by Southland Conference Pitcher of the Year Kelsie Armstrong, who brings a 28-12 record into the tournament. Armstrong tied with Lamar left-hander Shannon Millman for the conference lead with 13 Southland wins.

“We scored 10 runs on Armstrong over the last two games,” Bruder said. “That gives us some confidence.”

Lamar center fielder Candyce Carter, who earned third-team All-Southland Conference honors, leads the Lady Cardinals with a .349 batting average, a .616 slugging percentage and 31 RBIs. Carter hit .352 in SLC play with five home runs and 16 RBIs.

The Lady Cardinals also need production from first baseman Ashley McDowell, shortstop Stephanie Meeuwsen and catcher Beverly Corry. McDowell, who set a school record with 12 home runs this season, led the Southland with eight HRs in conference play.

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  • Bassmaster Elites are coming back

    The Bassmaster Elite Series returns to Southeast Texas in March 2015 to fish out of Orange.
    The announcement was made last week, ahead of Bassmaster’s official tournament schedule announcement and the buzz is already strong in Southeast Texas and beyond.
    I was in Orlando, Fla. attending the ICAST (fishing trade) show and talked with a number of top anglers including Kevin VanDam, Mike Iaconelli and Shaw Grigsby who said it was no surprise they would return considering the massive turnout for the weigh-ins and that the area welcomed them in a very special way.
    It’s far too early to speculate anything like who the top contenders will be or how the fishing will be but there are some things to keep in mind and to look for over the next few months and into the event itself.
    • Prefishing-There is a pre-fishing cutoff that usually extends to right before the Bassmaster Classic and I fully expect most of the anglers in the Elites to come back and prefish.
    Last go-round probably 2/3 of the field fished the area but this time I expect that to be just about everyone. Many of the anglers that did not pre-fish told me they expected to have a lot of water to fish but the sheer volume and diversity was almost overwhelming.
    Beginning probably in the early fall we will see many anglers fishing local waters to get a better idea on how to approach the area.
    • East to West Runs-The Elite anglers fished far and wide but I expect even more running next go-round. After launching from the Simmons Drive Boat Ramp in Orange angler Bill Lowen ran down the Intracoastal, across Galveston Bay and fished in the Clear Lake area and placed in the top 12. The more adventurous anglers will try super long runs, in my opinion, even longer than last time to try and score on big fish. The Intracoastal Canal system makes that possible.
    • Sabine River -Very few of the anglers actually fished in the Sabine River despite the event being called the “Sabine River Challenge”. I think that will change with more anglers running as far north as they can to find pockets of fish that receive little pressure and perhaps a four or five-pounder to push them over the top.
    • Bigger Turnout-Last year some 34,000 people attended the event which set a Bassmaster record for an Elite event.
     It was broken a couple of weeks later in New York but I fully expect the 2015 tournament to draw 40,000 plus. The reason they are coming back is not for the stellar fishing because while we have lots of bass, everyone knows our fishery cannot compare to Toledo Bend for example.
    The support from the public however was amazing and that is what is bringing the top anglers on the planet to fish our area.
    We will have the very best coverage of the event beginning now and leading up to it with exclusive interviews with all of the top pros with not only their thoughts on the big event but with unique tips on how you can catch more fish.
    It’s an exciting time and I look forward to bringing you special coverage on a special event.
    (To contact Chester Moore, e-mail him at cmooreoutdoors@gmail.com. You can hear him on “Moore Outdoors” Fridays from 6-7 p.m. on Newstalk AM 560 KLVI or online at www.klvi.com or watch him on “God’ Outdoors with Chester Moore” Saturdays at 10 a.m. on GETV.org)

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From the Fieldhouse blog