The Port Arthur News
PORT ARTHUR —
A pair of softball playoff series highlight this weekend’s hardball action. First up, the Port Neches-Groves softball team takes on 19-4A’s New Caney in a Class 4A bidistrict playoff matchup.
PN-G (18-9) took the second seed from District 20-4A after finishing in a tie with Vidor and Nederland. The Lady Indians came out on top of that tiebreaker with a 3-1 record against the other two teams in district play. PN-G finished the season on a 5-0 kick after losing to LC-M 9-4 on March 28.
New Caney finished the season with 20 wins, but lost three of its last five games to lose a convincing grip on second place. The late-season tailspin started with a 15-4 loss to Kingwood Park on April 9. New Caney then won its next two games against Humble and New Caney Porter before dropping consecutive games to Barbers Hill and Crosby.
That last loss, a 5-1 defeat by Crosby, was in a tiebreaker game to decide playoff seeding.
The Lady Eagles are led at the plate by seniors Katy Potter and Brittany Mussett. Both Potter, a pitcher, and Mussett, a catcher, have signed to play in college next season. Potter signed with San Jacinto Junior College while Mussett will attend Texas A&M International.
Game 1 of the series will be held at PN-G at 6 p.m. Friday with Game 2 set for noon Saturday at New Caney. A third game will be played if necessary at 6 p.m. Monday at a neutral site.
Nederland (22-9) finished second in that big 20-4A pileup for second place, grabbing the third seed and a date with Crosby in the bidistrict round of the playoffs.
Last season, Nederland played Crosby in a one-game series in bidistrict play, beating the Lady Cougars 2-1 at Nederland’s softball field.
This year’s Crosby team enters the game with the kind of momentum Nederland had last year, when the Lady Bulldogs won eight straight games to reach the area round. Similarly, Crosby has now won five straight games to force a tie with New Caney for the second seed.
The Lady Bulldogs will see a new pitcher in the circle for Crosby, as Jennifer Kilson will likely alternate with senior Taylor Cole in the series. Kilson, who joined the Lady Cougars from Humble Summer Creek this season, signed with Independence Community College.
The two teams will play a doubleheader on Friday in Crosby, with Game 1 starting at 4:30 p.m. and Game 2 beginning 30 minutes after the first game’s completion. Game 3, if necessary, will be played at 7 p.m. Monday in Nederland.
On the baseball side, the regular season wraps up Friday. District 20-4A champ Nederland ends the season by traveling to Beaumont Central. Nederland (21-4, 11-2) is looking to bounce back from a 4-3 loss to Lumberton on Monday.
PN-G (14-12, 9-4) can clinch the second seed from 20-4A with another win on Friday. The Indians host Livingston at 7 p.m. Friday.
Meanwhile, Port Arthur Memorial (11-13, 3-8) wraps up its season at 7 p.m. Friday by traveling to La Porte.