AC Softball Hosts No. 1-ranked Temple College in Home Opener

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Gary Stallard
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.

Angelina College’s Lady Roadrunner softball team went 1-3 in this past weekend’s season-opening tournament at Coastal Bend College in Beeville, but AC head coach Mark Mattson didn’t just see the glass half full – he saw it as having plenty of room for more.

The Lady ‘Runners opened the tourney with a 26-3 shellacking of Laredo, a game featuring four home runs, including Lynsey Mitchell’s grand slam, a two-run blast from Shay Vegas and a solo shot from Kayla Lahrmann. Mattson said his sluggers pounded the fence several more times in the win.

Against Coastal Bend, however, the team simply ran into a very good pitcher in a 4-2 loss.

 Angelina College pitcher Elizabeth Craig, shown here in a fall game against Sam Houston State University, leads the Lady Roadrunner softball team in its home opener Wednesday against No. 1-ranked Temple College. The doubleheader starts at 2 p.m. at Roadrunner Complex in Lufkin. (AC Press photo)
Angelina College pitcher Elizabeth Craig, shown here in a fall game against Sam Houston State University, leads the Lady Roadrunner softball team in its home opener Wednesday against No. 1-ranked Temple College. The doubleheader starts at 2 p.m. at Roadrunner Complex in Lufkin. (AC Press photo)

“We had good swings against her, but she had such great stuff we were hitting mile-high fly balls all day,” Mattson said. “We were good defensively, but their pitcher was very, very good. I have to give her credit.”

The Lady Roadrunners then took on 15th-ranked Midland College, falling 10-2, and NAIA representative Houston-Tillotson, with AC dropping an 8-3 decision.

“We definitely faced some great teams this tournament,” Mattson said. “We have so many new players, so it was good for them to see what we’ll be facing all year.

“I still like what I see with these girls. They’re playing hard, and they’re going to hit. They just have to adjust to this level of competition.”

AC’s next opponent won’t be any easier. On Wednesday, the Lady ‘Runners host their home opener against the No. 1 team in the preseason polls: Temple College’s Lady Leopards. Temple split its home opener this past weekend with No. 7 Howard College, winning the opener 6-4 before dropping a nine-inning, 8-7 decision in the nightcap.

Wednesday’s doubleheader at Roadrunner Complex starts at 2 p.m.

The e-mail address for AC’s Sports Information Director is gstallard@angelina.edu

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