Slocum softball season comes to end in State Semifinals, Neches to championship

May 29—AUSTIN- The Slocum Lady Mustangs exciting softball season came to an end Tuesday, falling in the University Interscholastic League's 1A State Semifinal against the Jonesboro Lady Eagles, 10-0.

The loss was a painful way to cap such a productive season, but the Lady Mustangs have nothing to hang their head about, as they represented Anderson County with class and grace throughout the season, routinely stepping into difficult situations, and finding themselves coming out on top more often than not.

The Lady Mustangs season began slowly, as the small 1A team faced off against larger schools, posting a 0-7-1 record to begin the season. But, as the season moved along, the Lady Mustangs began to build momentum, and turned red hot when the calendar flipped into district play.

Slocum would go on to win 11 of their final 16 games of the season, including going 7-2 in district play, made more impressive by the fact that several of their district wins came against 2A opponents, as 1A and 2A are combined during district play for baseball and softball.

The Slocum Lady Mustangs are poised for a few deep runs over the course of the next few years, as the squad will be returning most of their starters to next year's team, including the Bailey sisters, who were breakout stars in the 2023-24 season.

With the win, the Jonesboro Lady Eagles advanced to the UIL state championship, where they will face off against another Anderson County team in the Neches Lady Tigers.

Neches earned their spot in the state championship with a 7-2 win over Hermleigh, securing the first state title shot for the Lady Tigers in the 2023-24 school year, after reaching the state semifinals in both volleyball and basketball.

Neches faced off with the Lady Eagles last night at Red and Charline McCombs Field in Austin Wednesday night, and as of press time, the championship game had not been concluded. Please see Saturday's edition of the Herald-Press for a full breakdown of the Neches and Jonesboro state championship showdown.