The Port Arthur News
PORT NECHES —
PORT NECHES – After surviving a brutal regular season in one of the toughest districts in Class 4A, things don’t get much easier for the Port Neches-Groves softball team in the bidistrict playoffs Friday.
That’s because the Lady Indians will face a Barbers Hill team that went 14-0 in 19-4A and hasn’t lost in over two months. What’s more, those Lady Eagles have scored an average of 8.9 runs per game during district play while allowing just one run total.
It won’t be the first meeting between the two teams this season, as they met during the Barbers Hill tournament, with the Lady Eagles winning 9-0. However, PN-G didn’t start Brittnee Moore for that game, so don’t expect Barbers Hill to necessarily score that many runs again.
A big factor is the series length. In a one-game playoff series, anything can happen. Last season, Barbers Hill didn’t play any one-game series, sweeping its bidistrict matchup with Livingston and its area matchup with Willis before falling to eventual regional finalist Montgomery.
PN-G hasn’t played a one-game playoff series since 2006, when it lost 1-0 to Crosby. They did face Barbers Hill back in 2009, getting swept 6-4 and 1-0 in bidistrict play. The last time PN-G won a one-game series was in 2005, when it beat Crosby 6-0.
Back in 2004, when PN-G made a run through Region III to the state semifinals, it played every single round as a one-game series. The Lady Indians went 5-1 over that stretch before falling to state champion Crowley 1-0 in the state finals.
PN-G hasn’t missed the playoffs since 1997, a string of sixteen straight postseason trips. The Lady Indians last missed the playoffs in 1996, when only three representatives went to the playoffs and PN-G was in Class 5A.
That saw Baytown Lee, Vidor and Port Arthur Jefferson make the playoffs ahead of the Lady Indians.