, Port Arthur, Texas


April 24, 2014

Lady Bulldogs geared up to meet Lady Broncos

NEDERLAND — The Nederland Lady Bulldogs expected to be right where they are after the District 20-4A season.

Nederland did have hopes of a district title but making the playoffs was the top goal. The Lady Bulldogs begin their playoff run tonight against the Dayton Lady Broncos at 7 p.m. at Dayton High School.

Game 2 of the series will be at Nederland starting at 1 p.m. Saturday with Game 3, if necessary, to follow.

Nederland comes into the game with a 19-8 record and finished third in 20-4A at 11-3. The Lady Broncos were 13-3 in 19-4A play and finished in second place. Nederland defeated Dayton 2-1 earlier this season at the Willis Tournament. Kelsey Beard hit a two-run homer in the game.

Lady Bulldogs coach Will Mallett knows any trip through the playoffs out of Region III is always going to be tough. There are seven teams out of Region III ranked in the top 25 of the Texas Girls Coaches Association poll.

“Dayton is one of the most solid teams we have seen all year,” Mallett said. “They are very well coached and have two top-notch pitchers. In this region there are not many easy games to go around. You really would hope to catch a team like Dayton in the second or third round. Whoever gets through this series is going to have a great stepping stone to build on and it also means there will be a pretty good team sitting at home after the first round.”

Nederland’s success has in no way shocked Mallett. His Lady Bulldogs are supposed to be this good every year.

Nederland bats .362 as a team and has scored 211 runs. The Lady Bulldogs really love extra base hits with 51 doubles, 14 triples and six homers. The team’s 2.45 ERA is also not too shabby considering the quality of teams Nederland faces night-in, night-out in 20-4A.

“District 20-4A was a tale of two different beasts this year,” Mallett said. “There, of course, are those games against the playoff teams like Vidor, LC-M and Lumberton which are grueling. Then PN-G and Livingston were also quality teams. We also had some games against some other teams that are not as demanding and it always seemed to fall in between each other. We never really got on a roll this year.”

What has been a pleasant surprise for Mallett has been watching a number of players step into leadership roles throughout the season.

“You can never have too many leaders on a team,” Mallett said. “We have had great leadership when we were facing adversity. A few of the players who did step up maybe were out of their comfort zone but they knew it was best for the team.”

The main factor for Nederland’s success was not a surprise to the second-year Nederland coach and it always seemed to come when the Lady Bulldogs were in a jam.

“All year long when our backs have been against the wall, this team has come out fighting,” Mallett said. “We have even had a situation or two with umpires when calls just were not going our way. That would get me fired up on the field and the team always responded. They would come up with a timely hit and take the game out of the umpire’s hands. I love seeing that. That means we are on the same page as a team.”

Just like last year against Montgomery, Nederland hopes having Games 2 and 3 at home will be the difference in the series.

“I love being at home,” Mallett said. “The crowd will be line outside the outfield fence and they will be grilling up some food. It is just a comfortable environment to play in. We will be able to relax and do what we now we are capable of doing and that is moving on to the next round.”

The Nederland/Dayton winner will advance to face the winner of Montgomery and Georgetown.

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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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    There are certain limitations to fishing without a boat.

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    Thursday nights Summer Money League produced some very impressive scores.

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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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  • West golf notepad: Eleven-year-old Henry scores ace in YMBL tourney

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From the Fieldhouse blog