By GARY STALLARD
Three weeks and 16 games remaining in the regular season.
That’s all the Angelina College Lady Roadrunners have left on the schedule before the conference tournament beginning on May 4 in Port Arthur.
It may seem a little early for playoff projections, but the Lady ‘Runners know those weeks will go fast, and they know that to earn an invitation to the tourney, they’ll need to make good use of the allotted time.
All they have to do is continue what they’ve been doing: Beating the teams they should beat while surprising some of the others.
AC (19-14, 7-7) currently sits in fifth place in the Region XIV East Division standings, a game behind Trinity Valley CC and Navarro College (8-6 and 8-4, respectively). Tyler JC and Bossier Parish CC are tied for first place at 11-3.
Over the first round of division play, the Lady Roadrunners went 3-1 against the teams currently listed below them in the standings (they have yet to play last-place Paris College because of rainouts), and the team is 4-6 against the teams listed above. Tyler College, the No. 3 team in the nation, has swept AC – but in the last doubleheader, the Lady Roadrunners showed they’re closing the gap in a 9-7 loss. The Lady Roadrunners also earned a split on the road against No. 15 Bossier Parish.
All that from a lineup typically fielding at least seven freshman per game. After opening the season 1-3 against Tyler and Navarro, AC’s ladies went on a nine-game winning streak to show they’re not just looking ahead to next year.
AC will host Northeast Texas Community College in a doubleheader on Wednesday. The Lady Roadrunners swept the Eagles 11-0 and 4-0 on March 17 in Mount Pleasant, getting shutout pitching from Shelby Mixon and Leigh Luker and the typical offensive outburst from the rest of the lineup. AC’s team batting average is .336 with a slugging percentage of .565; despite losing numerous games to inclement weather, the team has bashed more than 50 homers, with Emilee Cernosek bopping 10 of those. Nikki Whitehead has seen her average climb steadily toward the .500 mark, and Sydney Brown is blasting the ball to the tune of a .797 slugging percentage. Jessica Husband has converted her .440 on-base percentage to a team-leading 29 runs scored.
Wednesday’s doubleheader starts at 3 p.m. Viewers can log onto angelinaathletics.com to watch the game via live stream.
The e-mail address for AC’s Sports Information Director is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sports Information Director Gary Stallard, who also serves as a Liberal Arts Instructor, begins his eleventh season with Angelina College. Following a career as a U.S. Marine, Stallard completed his bachelor’s degree at Stephen F. Austin University, where he majored in English and Journalism. For more than 16 years, he has worked as a sports writer/columnist/photographer for the Lufkin Daily News; he continues to contribute free-lance articles on occasion. Stallard has won several awards for writing, including the Golden Hoops Award for basketball writing in 2003, Regional Sports Writer of the Year in 2004, and the Texas Press Association’s first-place award for column writing in 2007 and in 2014. He has also done basketball, football and baseball radio and live streaming play-by- play and color commentary for an ESPN affiliate. Currently Stallard serves as play-by-play broadcaster for AC basketball, baseball and softball games.
Prior to arriving at Angelina College, Stallard taught English at Lufkin High School for four years. He currently teaches Developmental Writing classes at AC. He and his wife Susan live in Lufkin.
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