VAN WADE — Electric, fruitful weekend for area sports fans & residents

Published 12:18 am Wednesday, May 11, 2022

It was a busy but fruitful weekend for so many Orange County residents.

The sports world was buzzing with three three-game high school playoff diamond series, along with going on to vote and seeing final election results. Plus, the Mauriceville Crawfish Bash had a superb turnout.

Tremendous fan support was certainly there for the Bridge City Lady Cardinals softball team and the Orangefield and Bridge City baseball teams.

The Lady Cardinals, as I felt all along, made easy work of Wharton in their Area Round series, outscoring their opponent 18-0 in two games.

Meanwhile, the District 22-4A baseball champion Orangefield Bobcats took care of business against the Liberty Panthers, winning their bidistrict series 7-3 and 2-1. Coach Tim Erickson has been pulling the right strings all season long; after all, the Bobcats are 24-2.

The Bobcats are deep in pitching, and their defense, as usual, has been spot on.

The Lady Cardinals and Bobcats up the ante this week as their opponents get much tougher.

The Lady Cardinals (26-5) tangle with defending state champion Liberty (30-4), which cruised past Navasota in bidistrict. The two teams met last year, and Liberty swept past the Lady Cardinals in bidistrict on their way to the state crown.

The Bobcats will look to tame the Navasota baseball squad, who has had a tremendous season, as well, with a 19-5 mark.

It was the end of the road for the Bridge City baseball team, but they didn’t go down without a fight against its old nemesis in the Huffman Falcons.

After getting shut out 7-0 in Game One, the Cardinals didn’t pack things up early Saturday, bouncing back with a 10-3 Game Two victory. Then they battled hard in Game Three before bowing out with a tough 2-0 loss.

The game certainly had a momentum twist in the bottom of the sixth. Trailing 1-0, Cardinals hitter JS Bearden hit what looked to be a two-out solo home run bomb over the leftfield wall to tie it. The third base official initially ruled the ball fair. The Huffman coaching staff came out and contested. After about a five-minute conference, the home plate umpire ruled it as foul.

From the pressbox, it certainly looked like a fair ball, and you can ask any Cardinals baseball fan today and they would think so, too. The Falcons then sealed it with an insurance run in the top of the seventh. Great effort by the Cardinals though, who just wrapped up a season in which they made the playoffs for the 21st straight time.

Also on the sports scene this week, hopefully Orangefield’s Xander and Lincoln Parks have some shining moments at the Class 4A State Golf Championships against some stout competition.

We can all be pulling for Bridge City’s Caryss Carpenter and Orangefield’s Hunter Ashworth at the 4A State Track & Field Championships at the end of the week.

On another happy front, the Bridge City School District received great news after the election, as its bond issue to build a new junior high passed with flying colors.

That school provided an amazing education for so many for over 60 years. Sure, it still looks good on the outside, but the “guts” of the school has endured through so much wear and tear.

From rusted out pipes to air conditioning issues and leaks in the roof, it’s about time for something fresh and new.

And on the subject of fresh and new, Little Cypress-Mauriceville CISD is making plans to start work on a new turf field at Battlin’ Bear Stadium this month as football season is a lot closer than we all think. Plus, new tennis courts will be installed.

After the turf is finished at LC-M, Orangefield will be the lone Orange County school without turf. Something tells me the Bobcats wouldn’t have it any other way, though.

Van Wade is the sports editor for the Orange Leader. He can be reached at van.wade@orangeleader.com.