Seahawks, former PNG standout Cameron Niedenthal ready to take next step
The Lamar State College Port Arthur softball team reached new heights this season making it all the way to the NCJAA Region 14 Championship game this week.
The Seahawks lost to San Jacinto College 7-2.
LSCPA, which finished the season with a 21-27 record, had not won a regional tournament game prior to this season.
Port Neches-Groves graduate and Seahawks pitcher Cameron Niedenthal also turned in an impressive season.
The freshman was named NJCAA Region 14 First Team All-South Conference and Second Team All-Region as a utility player.
She finished with a .435 batting average with 15 doubles, two triples and 17 home runs. Her home run total put her at No. 1 in the South Conference while her 47 runs batted in put her at No. 3 in the conference.
Head Coach Vance Edwards said he knew Niedenthal was a good player before the season.
“Early on, she showed how good she can really be,” he said. “When it got to the tournament, she showed how clutch she was. When something needed to be done, she did it. Whether it was pitching four games, or playing defense, hitting, whatever; she did it.”
Niedenthal said the first game against Galveston College was when she knew she could play at a high level.
“It was the first game of the tournament,” she said. “I knew I could pitch like that. I was struggling a little bit during the regular season, but I knew it was time to step up.”
In the circle, Niedenthal earned 86 strikeouts, second best in the South, while her earned run average of 4.94 put her in the top 10 in the conference.
Niedenthal said the Seahawks’ best game came against Blinn Junior College during the tournament.
“There was little room for error,” she said. “That was probably my best game, too. They are a high-scoring team and I didn’t let them score any. It was me and the defense.”
Edwards said this season was a great building block for the program.
“Now we have to get better,” Edwards said. “We have made it to the finals. Now we have to win the finals. That is our goal. It was our goal all year. Now we have to work harder to get there.”
The pitcher said she is aware her team won’t be able to take anyone by surprise next year.
“We were able to prove everyone wrong,” Niedenthal said. “We came in as the underdogs, so it felt pretty good… I think we know how we can play. We practiced for it all year. We just have to keep it up next year.”
Niedenthal’s 17 home runs on the season and playoffs were good enough to tie the school record for a season. However, the PNG grad said she is not satisfied with a tie.
“I want to beat it,” she said.
Edwards said Niedenthal has all of the qualities he looks for in student athletes.
“She is going to set a lot of records for us,” he said. “She is a good player, a good student and a good person. She has met and exceeded everyone of them.”
Niedenthal said she will continue to play after LSCPA.
“I haven’t decided on where, yet,” she said. “There have been some schools calling. I got one from Texas A&M-San Antonio and I was talking to (the University of Houston).”
The Port Neches-Groves Indians are one game away from elimination after losing 4-2 to Friendswood at Baytown Sterling Thursday evening.... read more