LITTLE CYPRESS —
Using a dominating mound performance by senior standout Raven Cole and timely hitting up and down the lineup, the Little Cypress-Mauriceville Lady Bears cruised past the Port Neches-Groves Lady Indians 7-2 in District 20-4A play at Lady Bear Field Tuesday night.
Cole was masterful all night as she tossed a complete-game one-hitter, striking out 14 while walking just two.
“Raven was masterful out there,” said LC-M coach Dena Adkins. “She really had command all game long. We played a little ‘iffy’ defense behind her there in that second inning. Other than that, the kids played really well.”
Meanwhile, the Lady Bears (16-4, 2-0) pounded out 13 hits against PN-G (11-6, 1-1) pitchers Maci Dean and Shelby Valentine.
Chelsea McLain went 3-for-4 with two runs batted in.. Morgan Babineaux was 2-for-4. Angel Villanueva went 2-for-3 with a RBI while Kayleigh Roy was 2-for-4 with two RBI.
The Lady Bears got eight of their hits from their No 6 through No. 9 batters.
“Chelsea really stroked the ball tonight and has seen it so well all season, ” said Adkins. “Babineaux, (Hope) Russell and Angel (Villanueva) really give us confidence that we can put runs on the board at any time.”
It’s definitely a big week for the Lady Bears, who defeated Livingston 1-0 in their district opener, as they welcome Nederland to Lady Bear Field Friday.
LC-M and Nederland tied for the 20-4A title a year ago.
“It’s a game both teams look forward too and prepare for all during non-district and tournaments,” said Adkins. “Our girls have been waiting on the next one and so have the Nederland kids. It’s still early, but both teams want to prove something. Two quality teams will get to battle it out on Friday.”
The Lady Bears struck first in the bottom of the first.
Mikaela Stegall led off with a single to right off PN-G starter Maci Dean. Roy then reached on an error after a bunt and Stegall darted to third and eventually scored off a Cole sacrifice fly to centerfield.
PN-G reached out to snare a 2-1 lead in the top of the second.
Ryanne Lunceford drew a walk and went to second on a wild pitch. Katie Lee reached on a fielder’s choice. Courtesy runner Tori Jackson was able to dart home to score on a pickoff attempt that failed at third as the ball was overthrown and into leftfield.
Cole followed with back-to-back strikeouts but the Lady Indians added a run when Hannah Hernandez had their only hit of the night, a little squibbler that rolled between first and second base as Lee bolted in to score.
The Lady Bears recovered nicely in the bottom of the second, chasing Dean and scoring four runs in the process.
LC-M rocked Dean for four straight hits.
McLain roped a leadoff double to the centerfield wall. Babineaux followed with a single to left.
Hope Russell came through with a RBI single to left to plate McLain. Villanueva followed with a slashing single down the third-base line that brought in Babineaux to give LC-M the 3-2 edge.
Dean was replaced by Shelby Valentine on the PN-G hill. Two batters later, Roy crushed a two-run single to left to up the margin to 5-2.
The Lady Bears tacked on two more runs in the bottom of the fourth.
Kassie James had a one-out single to right and Taylor Fraccastoro stroked a two-out single to left. McLain came up huge again, ripping a Valentine offering for a two-run double down the third-base line.
Dean worked the one inning for PN-G, allowing five hits. Valentine worked the final five frames, giving up eight hits. Neither PN-G hurler had any strikeout or walks. The Lady Bears left nine base runners stranded.