LITTLE CYPRESS —
In the playoffs, Coach James McClanahan’s Lady Panthers have been in some nailbiters. They defeated Houston Davis 10-0. They then got past Angleton, losing the first game 4-1 before winning 7-3 and 10-5. They then held off Santa Fe in pitching duels 2-1 and 1-0.
“Ridge Point is a young team that has played some really good softball and have beaten some good teams along the way, especially in the playoffs,” said Adkins.
Just like Adkins, who can turn to two excellent pitchers in senior ace Raven Cole and junior Russell, McClanahan has two strong ones as well in junior Amber Grove and sophomore Kate Patel.
Grove has been the main starter throughout the year but Patel, much like Russell, enters at key moments to aid the cause. The two combined shutting down Santa Fe last week with Grove winning Game One and Patel taking Game Two.
“Pitching-wise, we’re both similar,” said Adkins. “Hitting-wise, that’s a whole different story about how each of us generate runs.”
The Lady Bears have certainly been known for their ferocious hitting, piling up a ton of doubles and home runs, led by the likes of Kassie James, Taylor Fraccastoro, Kaleigh Roy, Cole and Russell. They also have those talented hitters getting on in front of them like Mikaela Stegall, Chelsea McLain, Morgan Babineaux and Shelby LeBouef.
On the opposite end of the spectrum sits the Lady Panthers, who have hit just one home run all season. However, don’t let that fool you.
Ridge Point is definitely built on speed led by the sister duo of Syndi and Cortni Emanuel, who have both committed to Texas Tech University.
“They are trouble when they get on the bases,” said Adkins. “Everyone in their lineup is capable of stealing bases. They may not hit for power, but they’re all good slap-hitters that are patient. We’ve got to get ahead in the count and make them earn it. They may look like a young team on paper but they’re sound in everything that they do.”
The LC-M-Ridge Point winner will face either Elgin or Richmond Foster in the Region III Finals next week. Elgin and Foster will play a three-game series Friday and Saturday at Bryan High School.