Another banner softball season for Orange County wrapped up last week in a year that saw two district championships and four teams advancing to the playoffs.
Once again, the Little Cypress-Mauriceville Lady Bears put together another splendid season under the guidance of Dena Adkins.
The Lady Bears (32-7) cruised to the District 20-4A title with a near flawless 13-1 mark and advanced four rounds deep into the playoffs, sweeping Dayton, Huntsville, and Nederland before falling to a hard-nosed Ridge Point squad in the 4A Region III semifinals last weekend.
The Miami Heat have their “Big Three” in LeBron James, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh and so did the Lady Bears, especially the last three years, in the forms of Raven Cole, Kassie James and Kayleigh Roy. Those three seniors played in 11 playoff series the last three years and will certainly be missed.
The Bridge City Lady Cardinals have to realize that their future is bright as they twirped their way to an 11-1 record to capture the District 21-3A crown and advanced to the 3A area round, led by the likes of senior Annie Borg, who will definitely be missed.
Sparked by players like pitcher Kellyn Cormier, along with Kaleigh Carter and Kelsey Fults, the Lady Cardinals could make a deeper run next season.
The Vidor Lady Pirates, perhaps the team that gave the Lady Bears “fits” more than any other, played strong late, storming two a second-place three-way tie with Nederland and Port Neches-Groves to advance to the playoffs, led by the tough pitching of Gia Johns and hard-nosed play by Shanice Hagler and Keeli Milligan.
The Orangefield Lady Bobcats had a strong campaign as well, led by plenty of youngsters like pitcher Khandi Breaux along with the heavy bats of Haleigh Turley, Kaylie Evans and Kylie Bradley as they earned the third-place playoff berth out of 21-3A.
I’m sure Orangefield fans will always remember the grand slam laced by Bradley in the seventh inning that led the Lady Cats past Liberty in the bidistrict round of the playoffs as Orangefield advanced all the way to the 3A Region III quarterfinals.
So, it’s time to have a little more fun with the season over with the 2013 All-Orange Leader Softball Team.
We have a repeat champion as the Most Valuable Player with Cole taking the honors yet again.
Cole, who will play at LSU-Eunice next season, had a tremendous final campaign on the mound for the Lady Bears. She finished with a 19-7 record. She had a earned run average of 1.35, striking out 260 while walking 80 in nearly 160 innings of work. She also found time to hit .298 at the plate and contributed four home runs and 30 runs batted in.
Cole certainly had a tough challenge for MVP honors with teammate James.
James, who was our Defensive MVP last year with her stellar play at third base, where she was once again magical this year, chimes in this time as our Offensive MVP. Her numbers are hard to dispute. She hit .487 with five home runs and 45 RBI. She also scored 40 runs, had an amazing 21 doubles and three triples.
Vidor’s Hagler is the Defensive MVP and John’s picks up Pitcher of the Year as they combined to be one of the best batteries in the area again. LC-M’s Adkins collects Coach of the Year honors.
Thanks for another busy season ladies and let’s be just as successful next year.
All-Leader Softball Team
Here is the 2013 All-Orange Leader Softball Team:
MOST VALUABLE PLAYER: Rave Cole, LC-M
PITCHER OF THE YEAR: Gia Johns, Vidor
OFFENSIVE MVP: Kassie James, LC-M
DEFENSIVE MVP: Shanice Hagler, Vidor
COACH OF THE YEAR: Dena Adkins, LC-M
Kellyn Cormier, Bridge City
Taylor Fraccastoro, LC-M
Khandi Breaux, Orangefield
Annelise Borg, Bridge City
Haleigh Turley, Orangefield
Keeli Milligan, Vidor
Kayleigh Roy, LC-M
Kylie Bradley, Orangefield
Hope Russell, LC-M
Kalli Edwards, Vidor
Chelsea McLain, LC-M
Kaylie Evans, Orangefield
Ryaisha Daughtery, WO-S
Ashley Bunner, Vidor
Mikaela Stegall, LC-M
Baili Thibodeaux, Bridge City
Kaleigh Carter, Bridge City
Kelsey Ancelot, Orangefield
Kelsey Fults, Bridge City
Morgan Babineaux, LC-M