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Jones College softball clinches NJCAA World Series spot by reaching Region XXIII title game

No. 2 Lady Bobcats score tying runs in 7th inning, go-ahead runs in the 10th with 2 outs
(Source: Josh Auzenne (custom credit) | Source: WAFB)
Published: May. 16, 2021 at 12:20 PM CDT
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From Jones College Sports Information

EUNICE, La. (WDAM) – For the second time in as many games, Jones College needed extra-inning magic to keep its season-long winning streak and postseason dreams alive.

A two-out, two-run double by Maycee Knight in the seventh inning and a pinch-hit, RBI-single from Skylar McLellan in the 10th helped No. 2 Jones rally for a 7-5 win over No. 8 Copiah-Lincoln Community College.

The extra-inning victory sent the Lady Bobcats into the Region XXIII final.

Jones (42-7), winners of 20 consecutive games, will face No. 9 Gulf Coast Community College (33-13) at noon Sunday.

The win also clinched one of the league’s two automatic bids into the National Junior College Athletic Association’s Division II World Series for the Lady Bobcats, who will be making their seventh appearance since 2012.

This year’s national tournament begins May 25 in Oxford, Ala.

Jones had to fight tooth-and-nail to get there.

Scoreless through three innings Saturday, Tia’Rain Saunders’ two-out, RBI-single down the left-field line scored Lauren Lindsey to give Jones a 1-0 lead in the fourth inning.

Co-Lin responded with a two-out, two-run home run by Abigail Carter to push in front, 2-1.

A dropped third strike in the sixth helped the Lady Bobcats rally for the tying run.

Meagan Wynne struck out, but reached first on an error, and then Knight followed with an RBI-double to knot the game at 2-2.

After two quick outs in the bottom half of the sixth for the Lady Wolves, a Jones error kept the inning alive.

Co-Lin took advantage of the mistake, with Carlon Brabham hitting a two-run home run to center field and Carter smashing a solo home run right behind her to make the score 5-2.

Trailing 5-3 and down to its final out in the top of the seventh, Jones saw Lauren Pope single and a Co-Lin error put the tying run on base.

Knight stepped up and delivered for Jones, smacking the first pitch she saw into left-center field to plate a pair of runs and tie the game at 5-5.

After Co-Lin loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the eighth inning, Sterling James entered for starting pitcher Nia Luckett and induced an inning-ending, 6-4-3 double play.

James followed with a scoreless ninth inning.

After back-to-back strikeouts to start the 10th inning, Saunders’ singled and took an extra base after a bad throw back to the infield.

McLellan then came in to pinch hit for Kat Wallace, and came through in the clutch with a two-out, RBI-single down the left-field line for the go-ahead run.

Wallace would re-enter the game, steal third and score on an error to extend the Lady Bobcats’ lead to 7-5.

James (14-1) then sat down the Lady Wolves in order in the 10th to complete the comeback.

James provided 2 2/3 hitless innings in relief of Luckett, who allowed two earned runs with 11 strikeouts in 7 1/3 innings.

Cera Blanchard, who threw 195 pitches for Co-Lin, struck out 10. Just two of the seven runs she was charged with were earned.

Jones out-hit Co-Lin 10-5, with Tyesha Cole going 3-for-5 and both Knight and Saunders picking up two hits apiece.

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