Clark begins 21st season guiding Lady Oilers softball

PEARLAND — Pearland head softball coach Laneigh Clark begins her 21st season at the helm of the Lady Oilers softball program and has established herself and her teams as one of the top softball programs in Texas High School history.

Clark began this year with a 659-421-5 career mark and her record at Pearland HS was 552-185. Pearland finished 22-16 in 2018. Clark is the winningest 6A coach in Texas high school softball history and the second winningest Texas high school softball coach of any class. Only Guyla Smith of West High School in West, Texas leads with 681 victories.

The Lady Oilers are currently 7-4 on the season giving Clark a current 666-425-5 career mark and 559-189 record at PHS, but those numbers will change at the end of the season. Pearland is 2-0 in early district action with a 17-0 win over Alief Taylor and a 1-0 win over cross-town cousin and defending 23-6A champion Dawson.

While Pearland is experiencing early season success, Clark knows she has a very young and inexperienced team to work with this season.

“I feel like we have some quality players, and I’m looking forward to seeing what they can do,” Clark said. “I guess the hardest thing about it for us is that there are so many great teams in this area.

“You have to be ready every time you take the field, and you have to be able to step up and get the job done.”

Last season, Pearland lost in bi-district to eventual Class 6A state champion Atascocita. Pearland managed to win game two from the best-of-three series off the Lady Eagles. Katy was the only other team which managed to defeat Atascocita in the 2018 post-season.

The four teams that should make the playoffs this year according to Clark is Pearland, Brazoswood, Dawson, and George Ranch.

The three Alief schools (Elsik, Hastings, and Taylor) offer little resistance and have never been considered strong softball teams.

Even though Clark has a young team, she will look to senior pitcher Alyssa Fort to carry most of the pitching load for the Lady Oilers.

"This is probably the most inexperienced team I have had since being here at Pearland," Clark said.

“It’s uncomfortable for myself and my coaching staff because we’re used to having people we can rely on that have experience. But it’s also new for us, and it’s fun trying to see who will contribute and who will win their spots.”

Clark knows several players will have to emerge as team leaders and be productive on the field and at the plate.

“It’ll take lots of work, and we’ll have to learn from our mistakes,” she said. “We’ll make changes quickly, and we’ll be uncomfortable at times, but we’ll have to find positives from that.

“I think these girls want to continue the tradition that is strong here. The attitude is pretty good. I don’t see anyone who doesn’t want to do what it takes for us to be successful.”

2019 PHS Softball District 23-6A Schedule

                          First Round

Tues     2/19      Alief Taylor       Home        6:45 p.m.

Tues     2/26      Dawson            Away         6:45 p.m.

Tues     3/5        Alief Elsik         Home        6:45 p.m.

Tues     3/19      Alief Hastings   Home        6:45 p.m.

Fri.        3/22      Brazoswood     Home        7:00 p.m.

Tues     3/26      George Ranch  Away         6:45 p.m.


                       Second Round 

Fri        3/29       Alief Taylor         Away        6:45 p.m.

Tues     4/2        Dawson              Home       6:45 p.m.             

Fri.        4/5        Alief Elsik           Away        6:45 p.m.

Fri.        4/12      Alief Hastings     Away        6:45 p.m.

Tues     4/16      Brazoswood       Away        6:45 p.m.

Thur      4/18      George Ranch   Home       6:45 p.m.