ELLISVILLE – The 2nd-ranked Jones County Junior College Bobcats began play in the Region 23 Tournament with a 4-1 victory over Pearl River Community College here Thursday afternoon at Community Bank Park.
The Lady Bobcats then dropped a winner's bracket game to top-ranked LSU-Eunice, 5-2. The Lady Bengals had defeated Mississippi Gulf Coast 10-2 in the first game of the tournament.
JCJC, 47-3, now must play Pearl River at 11 a.m. on Saturday. Friday's games have already been rained out.
The Lady Wildcats eliminated MGCCC 12-3 in five innings in Thursday's late game. The winner of the JCJC vs. PRCC game will qualify for next week's NJCAA Division II National Tournament in Clinton, while the season ends for the loser.
LSU-Eunice is now 57-2 and has clinched a spot in the national tournament.
Lady Bengals 5, Lady Bobcats 2
The Lady Bobcats got off to a good start when LSU-Eunice walked the first three batters of the game in the top of the first inning and Lauren Holifield delivered a two-run single.
The Lady Bengals took the lead with a four-run third – scoring all of the runs with two outs.
Carey Alexis doubled to left and Kaitlen Flowers walked. Codi Covington singled to load the bases. Taylor Boulet then drilled a bases-clearing double to make it 3-2. Brooklyn Clark's doubled scored Boulet to make it 4-2.
Emily Nolan led off the bottom of the fifth with a home run to make it 5-2.
The Lady Bobcats had a chance in the sixth.
Reagan Gavin reached on a dropped third strike and Savannah Lyon was hit by a pitch to start the inning. CC Lawn then sacrificed the runners to second and third. Kimberly Nilsson then it into a fielder's choice.
Tori Dew then drew a walk. Holifield's fielder's choice grounder ended the game.
JCJC went quietly in the seventh.
Holifield doubled and singled for JCJC's only two hits.
Teri Richey went the distance and took the loss. She went six innings, allowed five runs (four earned), nine hits, walked four and struck out three.
Raven Cole went the first five innings and got the win for LSU-Eunice. She allowed three runs (two earned), two hits, walked six and struck out seven. Destin Vicknair went the final two innings and got the save. She allowed no hits and walked one.
Boulet doubled, singled and drove in three runs for LSU-Eunice. Alexis had a pair of doubles, while Covington doubled and singled. Clark and Flowers added doubles, while Nolan had the home run.
Lady Bobcats 4, Pearl River 1
The game was tied 1-1 heading into the bottom of the sixth inning when Brittany Seale led off with a home run.
With one out, Bailey Stokes singled and was replaced by courtesy runner Danielle Barton. Gavin then reached on a fielder's choice.
Lyon then followed with an RBI single to score Barton. After Callen Gibson walked, Nilsson came through another run scoring single.
JCJC had taken a 1-0 lead in the second when Seale singled and Stokes walked. Gavin's fielder's choice scored Seale.
PRCC tied it in the fifth when Hannah Holloman homered.
Samantha Buller improved to 27-1 by going the distance.
She gave up one run, five hits, walked none and struck out one.
Sealed homered, doubled and singled to pace the Lady Bobcats. Dew doubled and singled, while Lyon singled twice. Nilsson and Stokes added singles.
Holloman homered for PRCC, while Megan Scronce, Heather Boutwell, Courtney Warr and Rachel Hickman added singles.
Warr started and took the loss. She went 2 1/3 innings, allowed one run (unearned), three hits and walked three. Hickman went the final 3 2/3 innings, gave up three runs (all earned), six hits, walked one and struck out two.
Jones County Junior College
Game 1, LSU-Eunice 10, Mississippi Gulf Coast 2
Game 2, Jones County 4, Pearl River 1
Game 3, LSU-Eunice 5, Jones County 2
Game 4, Pearl River 12, Mississippi Gulf Coast 3 (5 innings)
Game 5, Jones County vs. Pearl River, 11 a.m.
Game 6, LSU-Eunice vs. Winner Game 5, tba
Game 7, If necessary, tba
Top two teams advance to NJCAA Division II National Tournament May 14-17 in Clinton.