PORT ARTHUR —
And then there was one.
Only one local team will be suiting up for spring football this year after coaches at Port Neches-Groves recently decided to instead hold two-a-day workouts in August. PN-G head coach Brandon Faircloth confirmed the switch earlier this month and said the coaches had been talking about it since February.
“We never want to do something just because that’s how we’ve always done it,” Faircloth said. “This will be the first time since about 2003 for me to not have spring practice.”
Faircloth said a big factor in making the switch was the age of his team. PN-G is expected to have a number of sophomore contributors next season. Those players, being freshman currently, are not in the Indians offseason period this spring.
By moving things back, the Indians also eliminate any possible conflicts with players on the baseball team being able to participate in spring drills. At least two quarterbacks who could potentially start for PN-G next fall, sophomore Ky Walker and freshman Adam Morse, are currently playing big roles for the Indian baseball team.
With the switch, PN-G gets one extra scrimmage in the fall and the Indians have already lined up Hamshire-Fannett to fill that need. The Indians will now open fall practice on August 5 with three days of conditioning before the first day of contact on August 9.
Port Arthur Memorial is the only team scheduled to participate in spring practices this season.
PORT ARTHUR —
And then there was one.
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BEAUMONT — It may be just the second year of the program’s revival, but the Lamar softball team has already established a tradition: Winning the home opener on a walk-off home run.
Casey Cromwell’s three-run blast in the bottom of the seventh inning gave the Lady Cardinals a 6-4 win over Southeastern Louisiana at Ford Park in the first home game of 2014 for Lamar and the Southland Conference opener for both squads.
Lamar, which won its first game last year over UTSA on a walk-off home run by Ashley McDowell, cruised to an 8-1 win over Southeastern Louisiana in Saturday’s nightcap.
“This is why I love playing at home,” Lamar coach Holly Bruder said. “The fans really get us pumped up, and we respond.”
Cromwell hit two home runs in the opener for Lamar (5-9 overall, 2-0 Southland). Beverly Corry also homered for Lamar. Shannon Millman (3-5) was the winning pitcher for the Lady Cardinals in both games, working 1 1-3 innings of scoreless relief in the first game before firing a three-hit gem in the nightcap.
“We got tremendous pitching for both Shannon and Tina (Schulz) today,” Bruder said. “We also got some great defense, and that really helped us.”
Candyce Carter and Jenna Holland homered for Lamar in the second game. Carter had three RBIs in the game, while Holland and Julianne Viator added two RBIs apiece.
Carter closed out the game in spectacular fashion, making a diving grab in center field to turn what looked to be a sure double off the bat of Brittney Tschoepe into the final out of the game.
The two teams wrap up their three-game series with a single contest at 1 p.m. Sunday at Ford Park. All senior citizens 55 and older receive free admission.
“It’s always tough to sweep a team,” Bruder said. “We know Sunday’s game will be tough.”
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