Press release from JCJC athletics
EUNICE, Louisiana – Fifth-ranked Jones County has advanced to the winner’s bracket of the Region 23 Tournament.
But it was not easy.
JCJC fell behind 2-0 to No. 11 East Central before rallying to score single runs in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings and defeat the Lady Warriors, 3-2, here Friday afternoon at Bengal Park.
It was the 16th consecutive victory for the Lady Bobcats.
JCJC, 43-6, will now play top-ranked LSU-Eunice in the winner’s bracket at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday.
The homestanding Bengals rallied from a 3-1 deficit to beat No. 3 Mississippi Gulf Coast, 4-3, in another first round game.
East Central, 43-10, plays MGCCC at 1 p.m. in a loser’s bracket contest. There will be an elimination game at 3:30 p.m.
The Lady Bobcats need to win only one game on Saturday to qualify for the NJCAA Division II National Tournament May 18-21 at Traceway Park in Clinton.
With the game tied 2-2 entering the bottom of the sixth inning, Ashley Valentine reached on an error to start the inning. Jay Harris sacrificed the runner to second.
After a strikeout, Cori McCrary came through with a single. Pinch-runner Brittany Hagwood came around third base and headed towards home plate.
Hagwood got into a rundown, but interference was called because a defensive player was in the baseline and would not allow Hagwood to proceed.
JCJC trailed 2-0 going into the fourth inning.
The first two batters were retired before Autumn Frost and Rachel Hayes singled. Valentine drew a walk to load the bases and Harris drew a walk to force in a run and make it 2-1.
The Lady Bobcats tied the game in the fifth.
McCrary led off with a walk and Kelly Byrd followed with a single. After a flyout, Natalie Hogue’s fielder’s choice drove in McCrary.
The Lady Warriors scored twice in the top of the first.
Caitlyn Aldous led off with a single and was sacrificed to second by Maegen Ellis. Mahalia Gibson’s single scored Aldous. Gibson advanced on the throw home and would score on an error.
Hayes, 25-1, went the distance and got the win. The Southeastern Louisiana signee gave up two runs (one earned), five hits, walked one and struck out four.
McCrary, Byrd, Frost and Hayes singled for the Lady Bobcats.
Lacey Hill took the loss. She pitched six innings, allowed three runs (two earned), four hits, waked four and struck out four.
Mahalia Gibson doubled and singled for ECCC, while Elizabeth Frey doubled. Aldous and Katlyn Duke added singles.