The Orange Leader
PORT ARTHUR —
Never able to find their “groove” at the plate, the Little Cypress-Mauriceville Lady Bears saw their excellent season come to an end Saturday as they fell 2-0 to the Ridge Point Lady Panthers in Game Two at Port Arthur Memorial High School in the Class 4A Region III semifinals.
LC-M senior pitcher Raven Cole had a splendid pair of outing in her team’s two 2-0 losses that were almost carbon copies of each other. Cole only allowed five hits in 14 innings of work in the series. However, the Ridge Point pitching tandem of Kate Patel and Amber Grove teamed up for back-to-back complete-game two-hitters.
Patel had the Lady Bears (32-7) baffled throughout Game Two. She allowed just two hits while striking out nine and walking two.
Grove hurled a two-hitter Friday night, striking out six and walking two.
“We simply never adjusted to their pitching throughout both games,” said LC-M coach Dena Adkins. “We were swinging at high riseballs and swinging at a lot of outside pitches and were not quite patient enough. Give them credit though, they made the pitches count.”
The Lady Bears didn’t get their first hit off the Lady Panthers (33-7) until the fifth inning when Kayleigh Roy slapped a single up the middle. Taylor Fraccastoro had a huge double in the seventh that almost cleared the fence but was left stranded.
Cole, who will take her talents to LSU-Eunice next year, allowed just two hits while fanning three and walking four.
“Raven, what a warrior,” said Adkins. “She did her very best to keep us in it. You couldn’t ask for a better effort then what she gave the last two days.”
Bria Daniel’s two-run double after a pair of Lady Bears errors, led to the two runs in the top of the second frame. Two LC-M errors also led to the two runs in Friday night’s loss.
Kendall Burton drew a walk and went to second on a groundout by Emily Keithley. Patel reached on an error on a dropped flyball in right, sending Burton to third.
Courtesy runner Leeanne Hrebener swiped second and Daniels crushed a two-run double to the wall in rightfield.
“At this point of the playoffs, you have to be top-notch on defense and we simply didn’t do what we had to do,” said Adkins. “Both games could’ve easily been 0-0 and we could have been in extra innings. But give Ridge Point credit, when we did put the ball in play, their defense was flawless.”
Ridge Point’s only other hit came in the fifth on a bunt single by Cortni Emanuel.
Cole and Fraccastoro both drew walks in the bottom of the fifth but were left on base.
The loss ends a great run for four Lady Bear seniors in Cole, Roy, James and Shelby LeBouef. They helped lead the Lady Bears to the Region III Finals a year ago and to the Region III semifinals this time out. Along the way, they captured the District 20-4A title with a 13-1 record this season in a very competitive district.”
“Good old Raven, I’ve never been blessed with a pitcher like that one, she really gutted it out this year,” said Adkins. “James, she’s the best hitter I’ve ever coached, bar none. Roy, she blossomed into one heckuva shortstop. Shelby LeBouef, she stepped up and played huge for us down the stretch.”
Ridge Point, in only its third season playing varsity softball, will now face either Elgin or Richmond Foster in the Region III Finals.