, Port Arthur, Texas


May 9, 2013

Lady Bulldogs hope third time with LC-M is charm

PORT ARTHUR —  Nederland is hoping that the third time is the charm…again.

  After being eliminated by Montgomery in the two previous playoffs, the Nederland softball team finally topped the Lady Bears last week in a three-game series.

  Now, the Lady Bulldogs will face District 20-4A champ Little Cypress-Mauriceville in a one-game series at 4:30 p.m. Friday at Port Arthur Memorial’s softball field. That game time has been moved up due to possible rain in the forecast.

  That means Nederland will be playing LC-M for a third and final time this season. The Lady Bears beat Nederland twice in the regular season, as LC-M sprinted to the district title. Both losses to LC-M were the first of two straight for Nederland, who got swept by Port Neches-Groves in the follow-up games.

  Nederland had a lead in the second matchup with LC-M until the late innings, when Lady Bear third baseman Taylor Fraccastoro hit a home run to key the LC-M comeback.

  It’s not the LC-M offense that Nederland has to worry about most, though Fraccastoro has been one of the most prolific power hitters in the area this season.

  No, the biggest road block keeping Nederland from the fourth round of the playoffs will be LC-M pitcher Raven Cole. Cole may be the best pitcher in the area and Nederland will need to get to her early and often if it has any hope of pulling off the victory.

  Take, for example, PN-G’s second game against the Lady Bears at the Reservation. The Lady Indians jumped out to an early 4-0 lead off Cole, forcing the right-hander from the game early. Ultimately, PN-G couldn’t stave off a late LC-M rally, but it does provide Nederland with a blueprint for the win.

  The same thing happened to end the season in LC-M’s only district loss. With the 20-4A title sewn up, the Lady Bears fell to Vidor, who needed the victory to avoid being the fourth seed. Vidor won the game  but still ended up as the fourth seed.

  Nederland has certainly scored enough runs lately to be up to the task of knocking out Cole. Over the last seven games, the Lady Bulldogs are averaging 10.2 runs per game. That includes hanging 12 on Montgomery in the clinching game of the area round series.

  Leading the way offensively have been a number of players. Tori Cooper has been great since settling into the leadoff spot, while Jensen Richard, Kelsey Beard and Jenny Freeman all add punch in the middle of the order.

  However, the dangerous thing about Nederland’s lineup is how balanced it is. Head coach Will Mallette isn’t afraid to ask any of his hitters to lay down a bunt and almost every hitter is also a threat to take one deep.

  Of course, runs are not the only issue, as probable starting pitcher MaKayla Kelly will need to be as dominant as she’s been at times this year to hold off the Lady Bears. Since shutting out Beaumont Ozen, Livingston and Beaumont Central in three consecutive games, the Nederland pitching staff has given up 12 runs in the last four games.


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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 You can hear him on “Moore Outdoors” Fridays from 6-7 p.m. on Newstalk AM 560 KLVI or online at or watch him on “God’ Outdoors with Chester Moore” Saturdays at 10 a.m. on

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  • Babe Ruth.jpg Mid County Babe Ruth set to host Southwest Regional

    The Mid County Babe Ruth 18U team is once again knocking on the World Series door. Mid County will host the Southwest Regional at Nederland High School starting today. Mid County’s first game of the tournament is slated for 7 p.m. Friday against Pine Bluff, Ark. Thursday was a special day for Mid County Babe Ruth as two locals, Jimmy Collins (shown speaking) and Skip Hopkins (back left) were inducated intot he Southwest Regional Babe Ruth Hall of Fame. Both Hopkins and Collins have been involved in Babe Ruth for over 40 consecutive years either as player, coach or board member. There are nine teams in the tournament with the winner headed to Washington state for the World Series.

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From the Fieldhouse blog