(Orange, Texas)

February 18, 2013

Lady Pirates outlast Lady Bears to win SETX Classic

Van Wade
The Orange Leader

BEAUMONT — One thing that the Southeast Texas Softball Classic proved over the  weekend was that District 20-4A and District 21-3A is going to be really fun to pay attention too, especially with the likes of Vidor and LC-M in 20-4A and Orangefield and Bridge City in 21-3A as all four teams advanced to the semifinals Saturday.

The Vidor Lady Pirates had a excellent 2012 campaign, notching third-place place and a playoff berth for Coach Darin Fletcher.

On Saturday, they gave him another reason to smile as they held off the LC-M Lady Bears 9-7 in the championship game after the Lady Pirates led by as much as 9-3.

Vidor’s No. 1 and No. 2 hitters in the lineup really hurt the Lady Bears, who advanced all the way to the 4A Region III Finals last year.

Leadoff hitter Keely Milligan scored all four times she had a plate appearance and drove in a run. No. 2 hitter Shanice Hagler went 3-for-4, drove in three runs and scored twice.

The Lady Pirates also took advantage of several LC-M miscues in the field. LC-M actually outhit Vidor 9-5.

Whitney Howerton earned the win on the hill for the Lady Pirates. She scattered six hits, struck out nine and walked four in five innings. Gia Johns tossed the last two frames, allowing three hits while fanning two and walking one.

Raven Cole absorbed the loss for the Lady Bears. She worked six frames, allowing five hits while striking out 13 and walking seven. Hope Russell pitched the seventh, allowing no hits while fanning two.

Vidor went up 1-0 in the top of the first after Milligan reached on an error and later scored on a Hagler groundout.

In the third, Milligan drew a one-out walk and Hagler roped a double. Milligan scored after Ashley Bunner reached on an error and Hagler eventually scored on a wild pitch. Bunner later scored on a sacrifice fly by McKenzie Andrus to make it 4-0.

The Lady Bears struck for two runs in the third.

Mikaela Stegall reached on a bunt single. Kayleigh Roy, who was 2-for-4, singled to center and Taylor Fraccastoro drew a walk to load the bases. Kassie James, who went 3-for-4, drove in one run with a infield single and Cole plated Roy with a sac fly to right.

Vidor tacked on two runs in the top of the fifth. Milligan reached on a error and scored on a Hagler infield single. Hagler made it 6-2 when Johns brought her home despite hitting into a double play.

LC-M trimmed it to 6-3 in the fifth when Roy singled to left and scored on a Cole RBI dart up the middle.

The Lady Pirates struck for three runs in the top of the sixth.

Tori Biddle and Haley Denby drew back-to-back walks. Biddle eventually scored on a error and Milligan and Hagler both picked up RBI singles to up the margin to 9-3.

LC-M made it 9-6 with three runs in the bottom of the sixth. Fraccastoro ripped a two-run single and James stroked a RBI triple to right.

The Lady Bears added a run in the seventh when Chelsea McLain drew a walk and eventually scored on a Morgan Babineaux single up the middle.

The Lady Pirates certainly had their share of big wins to go perfect in the tournament, as did Orangefield, which went on to defeat Bridge City for third-place.

Vidor defeated Orangefield 13-3 in one semifinals while the Lady Bears downed Bridge City 3-0.

Scores at the tournament Friday included LC-M 17, Beaumont Kelly 0; Vidor 15, West Orange-Stark 0; Lumberton 7, Kelly 0; Bridge City 6, Crosby 1; Orangefield 4, Lumberton 1; Bridge City 13, WO-S 3; LC-M 5, Orangefield 1; Vidor 13, Bridge City 5; Orangefield 6, Kelly 3; and Crosby 11, WO-S 1.