GULF SHORES, AL (WDAM) - Jones College, who came into the 2019 softball season as the top-ranked team in the National Junior College Athletic Association’s Top 25 poll, split its first four games of year.
The Lady Bobcats topped Walters State 8-2 to open the year at the Sun Chief Gulf Classic Friday, but then fell in extra innings to No. 13 Wallace State.
Saturday, Jones (2-2) fell 5-2 to Motlow State before bouncing back with an 8-4 win over sixth-ranked Illinois Central College.
Hallie Donald threw a complete-game while knocking in three runs with a double and single.
Donald scattered eight hits, walked three and struck out four.
McKennah Sikes smacked a double and two singles while driving in two runs. Faith Denton had three singles and Raven Blackwell hit a two-run double.
Mia Edwardson and Jenica Brown had two singles each for Walters State. Starting pitcher Deliah Malczewski lasted just 2 2/3 innings, allowing five runs on six hits to take the loss.
Jones led 4-3 before Wallace State tied the score with a run in the top of the seven and then piled up four more runs in the top of the eighth inning.
Sikes swatted a two-run in the bottom of the eighth but it wasn’t enough to keep the Lady Bobcats from absorbing their first loss of the season.
Sikes, who had a solo homer earlier in the game, had three RBIs for the second time in as a many games.
Gracie McCleskey hit a home run and two singles for the Lady Bobcats. Hailey Weems hit two singles and Blackwell added a double.
Wallace State got a home run and single from Addie Robertson and a triple and single from Kellie Bobbitt. The Lady Lions also got a home run from Kalynn Holcomb and two singles from Alysia Anderson.
Jones reliever Lauren Stringer took the hard-luck loss, allowing four runs in two innings, though only one run was earned. Wallace State reliever Meagan Schweiterman allowed a run on five hits over 3 1/3 innings to pick up the win.
Motlow State took a 3-1 lead in the top of third inning, saw the Lady Bobcats cut the deficit to a run in the fourth and then scored twice in the seventh to ice the win.
Kayla Collins, Mollie Singleterry and Sikes each doubled for Jones, while Kylie Thackerson and Lauren Tomberlin each hit a double and single for Wallace State and Haley Hinshaw had a double.
Winning pitcher Jennifer Corbin allowed two runs on seven hits in four innings. Losing pitcher Marley Peagler gave up three runs on eight hits in 6 2/3 innings.
A three-run home run by Sikes in the fifth inning broke a 2-2 tie as the Lady Bobcats (2-2) beat up Lady Cougars reliever for five runs on five hits in 1 2/3 innings.
Sikes finished with a home run, double and single and drove in four runs. Collins drove in two runs with a home run and single, McCleskey added a triple and single and Denton had a double and single.
Donald (2-0) picked up her second win of the Classic, allowing one run on seven hits over seven innings. She walked one and struck out 10.
Illinois Central got two singles apiece from Sam Garcia and Sam McKee.
The Lady Bobcats are scheduled to open their home schedule at Community Bank Park, weather permitting, at 2 p.m. Friday before welcoming Southwest Mississippi at 6 p.m.