Jacksonville Daily Progress
Area baseball and softball athletes will be returning to action on Friday night after being shut down for the first-four days this week due to state-wide standardized testing.
Unfortunately, area fans will have to hit the road to catch their favorite team in action, as units from Jacksonville, Rusk, Bullard and Troup are all slated to continue their respective district campaigns away from home.
The Indians and Maidens will be in Corsicana on Friday. Both will face significant challenges, too.
The Tribe (1-3 16-4A) will put the wraps on the first half of the league schedule when they face the 3-1 Bulldogs.
Corsicana's only loss came to league-leading Whitehouse.
The Maidens are 1-4 in district and will be looking to avenge a 14-2 loss suffered at the hands of the Lady Bulldogs when the two teams met last month in Jacksonville.
The softball game should get under way at 6:00 p.m., with the baseball game scheduled for a 7 p.m. start.
Rusk's baseball and softball teams will be hitting the blacktop bound for Groesbeck.
The game between the Eagles and the Goats will pit the two front runners in the 19-3A race.
Rusk is currently 5-1 and is two games in front of the Goats (4-3 19-3A).
Rusk's only league loss was to Groesbeck, 5-1, back on March 19 at Eagle Park.
Friday's first pitch is scheduled for 7 p.m.
The No. 4 (Class 3A)-ranked Lady Eagles will look to remain perfect in conference play when they hook up with the Lady Goats at 6 p.m.
In the first meeting between Rusk and Groesbeck, the Lady Eagles prevailed, 7-0.
The Panthers and Lady Panthers of Bullard will be in Kilgore on Friday for District 16-3A battles.
Bullard's baseball nine are 15-5 overall under Judd Guidry and are second in district, with a 5-1 worksheet.
The Panthers won a wild one, 12-8, the first time that they faced Kilgore earlier in the season, so just about anything can take place when the first pitch is tossed at 7 p.m. at historic Driller Park.
The Lady Panther softball team (15-8, 3-4 16-3A) will be looking to snuff out a three game district losing streak when they play the Lady Bulldogs at 5:30 p.m. at Stream Flo Park.
Bullard is in virtually a must-win position to have any hope of making the state playoffs.
The No. 8-ranked team in Class 2A, the Troup Lady Tigers, will be New London to play West Rusk's Lady Raiders at 5:30 p.m.
Troup (22-5-2, 8-1 18-2A) will be looking to rebound from an upset loss late last week to Harmony.
The Lady Tigers run-ruled West Rusk, 12-0, when they faced off in Troup early last month.
Troup pitcher Josee Ross needs just five strikeouts to set a new school record for career strikeouts.
The old mark of 225 was set by her sister, Jessica Ross.
Tiger baseball, currently second in 18-2A will take on the Raiders at 6 p.m.
Troup (14-5, 8-1 in 18-2A) slammed West Rusk (0-12, 0-8), 10-0, when the two clubs got together earlier this season in Troup.