There was no letdown for the 8th-ranked Jones County Junior College Lady Bobcats here Thursday afternoon in the Region 23 Tournament at Traceway Park.
Coming off an emotional, 9-6 victory over Mississippi Gulf Coast in the MACJC state championship game on Monday, the Lady Bobcats received a perfect game in the circle from Samantha Buller and got solo home runs from Bethany Volking and Kalyn McNabb and blanked the Itawamba Community College Lady Indians, 8-0 in five innings.
JCJC, 40-6 and winners of eight straight games, will now play East Central at 10 a.m. on Friday in round two. East Central dropped a 6-1 decision to top-ranked LSU-Eunice. In Thursday's other game, Mississippi Gulf Coast rallied to beat Pearl River, 11-10.
In other 10 a.m. games on Friday, LSU-Eunice meets MGCCC and Pearl River faces Itawamba. The 10 a.m. games were originally scheduled for noon, but have been moved up to try and beat the forecast of rain in the area.
The top two teams in the regional tournament will advance to the NJCAA Division II National Tournament May 15-18, also here at Traceway Park.
Lady Bobcats 8, Lady Indians 0
Buller, a freshman from Iowa, La., did not allow a baserunner and struck out six as she improved to 24-2.
JCJC took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first when Volking hit a two-out, solo home run over the leftfield fence.
They made it 2-0 in the second when Makenzie Hawkins led off with a single and was sacrificed to second by Rebecca Dunn. McNabb then singled and Reagan Gavin followed with an RBI single to left.
McNabb made it 3-0 in the fourth when she led off the inning with a home run to dead centerfield.
The Lady Bobcats ended the game via the ‘mercy rule' when they scored five runs without getting a base hit in the bottom of the fifth.
With one out, Hawkins was hit by a pitch. Dunn and McNabb walked to load the bases and Gavin's fielder's choice grounder scored Hawkins. Dunn then came home on a wild pitch. CC Lawn's groundout scored McNabb to make it 6-0.
Relanda McFarland then walked and Volking walked to load the bases. Bases-loaded walks to Karley Crosby and Brooke David forced in the game's two final runs.
The bottom four batters in the Lady Bobcat lineup – Hawkins, Dunn, McNabb and Gavin – were officially 7-for-8 with three RBIs and six runs scored.
McNabb homered and singled, while Hawkins and Gavin each singled twice for JCJC. Volking homered and Dunn had a single. Gavin had two RBIs.
Rebecca Sloan, 15-6, started and took the loss for Itawamba. She went 4 1/3 innings, allowed three runs, eight hits, walked three and struck out one. Dani Taylor pitched 1/3 of an inning, gave up five runs, no hits, walked six and hit one.
The 8th-ranked Jones County Junior College Lady Bobcats are heading back to the national stage.
Trailing 4-2 entering the bottom of the sixth inning, the Lady Bobcats received a solo home run from Karley Crosby and a two-run shot from Makenzie Hawkins and stunned the top-ranked LSU-Eunice Bengals 5-4 here Friday night at Traceway Park in a winner's bracket game of the Region 23 Tournament.
The victory assures JCJC of a berth not only in the regional championship, but also in the NJCAA Division II National Tournament, which will be played here May 15-18. It will be JCJC's second consecutive trip to nationals.
The Lady Bobcats, who won their second straight MACJC title earlier this week, have won 10 straight games and are now 42-6.
LSU-Eunice saw its 27-game winning streak snapped and is now 54-5.
In Friday's other games in the rain-delayed tournament, Pearl River eliminated Itawamba, 2-1, while LSU-Eunice blanked Mississippi Gulf Coast, 10-0, in five innings. Pearl River then eliminated MGCCC, 8-3.
On Saturday, LSU-Eunice faces Pearl River at 10 a.m. and the winner of that game plays JCJC at noon. If JCJC loses the noon contest, another title game would follow at 3 p.m. The top two teams qualify for the national tournament.
Lady Bobcats 5, Bengals 4
It was a nail-biter from the start between a pair of top ten teams.
The Bengals took control early when Emily Nolan and Brooklynn Clark blasted back-to-back solo home runs to start the second inning to make it 2-0.
But JCJC came back in the fourth.
With one out, Brooke David was hit by a pitch. With two outs, the Lady Bobcats did what they have been doing quite a bit lately – get base hits and score runs.
First, Rebecca Dunn doubled to right to put runners at second and third. Next, Kalyn McNabb came through with another double to tie the game at 2-2.
LSU-Eunice would regain the lead in the top of the sixth.
Nolan drew a one-out walk and Clark followed with a single. Taylor Simon's single scored Nolan and Ashley Subervielle's sacrifice fly to deep left scored Clark to make it 4-2.
In the bottom of the sixth, Crosby led off by crushing her 15th home run of the season over the centerfield fence.
David then hit a 3-2 pitch to deep centerfield that was caught by Brooke Thomas. However, LSU-Eunice pitcher Julienne Broussard was called for an illegal pitch and David took first base.
Hawkins, a freshman from Nettleton, then stepped up and smashed her ninth home run of the year over the leftfield fence to put the Lady Bobcats ahead for the first time. That gives Hawkins a team-leading 50 RBIs on the season.
In the seventh, Samantha Buller struck out the first two batters and then got Thomas to line out to Bethany Volking at third base to end the game.
Buller, 25-2, went the distance and got the victory. She allowed four runs, eight hits, walked one and struck out six.
Crosby and Hawkins homered for the Lady Bobcats, while CC Lawn, Dunn and McNabb had doubles and Reagan Gavin singled.
Broussard went five-plus innings and took the loss. She gave up five runs, six hits, walked one, hit and struck out six.
Clark homered and singled twice for the Bengals, while Nolan homered and doubled. Codi Covington, Simon and Pamela Wainwright each had singles.
Lady Bobcats 10, Lady Warriors 4
Volking, a sophomore from Enterprise, drove in five runs as JCJC eliminated East Central and improved to 2-0 in the tournament.
East Central took a 2-0 lead in the top of the first when Lajoya Griffin reached on a bunt single and Ty Buckley slugged a two-run home run.
But JCJC bounced back with four runs in the bottom of the first.
CC Lawn reached on an error and Relanda McFarland followed with a single. Volking then went the opposite way and drove a triple off the rightfield fence to tie the game at 2-2. David's single would score Volking. Hawkins then singled and Dunn singled to right drive in David and make it 4-2.
But the Lady Warriors came back and tied the game at 4-4 in the fourth.
Marlee Massey led off with a walk and Buckley drew a two-out walk. Amber McBroom's single scored Massey. After a walk to Hayley Stephens, Dakota Vowell's infield single would score Buckley.
But JCJC would respond with three runs in the bottom of the frame on just one hit.
McNabb, Gavin and McFarland drew walks to load the bases with two outs. Volking then cleared the bases with a double to give the Lady Bobcats a 7-4 lead.
The Lady Bobcats added three more runs in the sixth.
Lawn reached on an infield single and McFarland reached on a bunt single. With two outs, David came through with a two-run single. She would later score on an error.
Michele Hester, 15-4, earned the victory in relief. She pitched the final 4 2/3 innings, gave up four hits, two runs and walked four. Of the 14 outs Hester recorded, 12 were groundouts.
Buller was the starter. She went 2 1/3 innings, gave up two runs, six hits, walked one and struck out one.
Volking tripled, doubled and drove in five runs. David singled twice and had three RBIs. McFarland had two singles, while Lawn, Hawkins and Dunn added singles.
Griffin, Stephens, McBroom and Vowell had two singles each for East Central. Buckley homered and Morgan Porter singled.
Tenna Patterson pitched the final 5 2/3 innings in relief and was charged with the loss. She gave up six runs (five earned), five hits, walked five and struck out two. Mary Sanders started, went 1/3 of an inning, gave up four runs (three earned) and four hits.
Top-ranked LSU-Eunice won three games here Saturday to claim the Region 23 Tournament championship.
The Bengals defeated Pearl River 8-0 in five innings in an elimination game. They then swept 8th-ranked Jones County Junior College 6-0 and 10-4 to win the title. The Lady Bobcats had snapped LSU-Eunice's 27-game winning streak with a 5-4 win on Friday night.
Both teams will now head to the NJCAA Division II National Tournament May 15-18 here at Traceway Park. It will be the second straight appearance in the nationals for the Lady Bobcats, who won their second straight MACJC title on Monday.
The 16-team, double-elimination field will be seeded on Monday morning and the tournament bracket will be released later that day.
Each team will play one game on Wednesday – either at 1:30 p.m. or 3:30 p.m.
JCJC is now 42-8 on the season, while LSU-Eunice is 56-5.
Bengals 6, Lady Bobcats 0
Elizabeth Delafield scattered eight hits and did not allow the Lady Bobcats to score. She went the distance, walked two and struck one.
LSU-Eunice took a 1-0 lead in the first when Taylor Simon doubled and scored on Emily Nolan's single.
It stayed that way until the fourth. Simon reached on an error and Nolan walked. With two outs, Ashley Subervielle drilled a two-run double. Pamela Wainwright followed with a run-scoring double to put the Bengals up 4-0.
They closed the scoring in the seventh when Brooklynn Clark led off with a single and Subervielle followed with a two-run home run.
Kalyn McNabb had three singles for JCJC, while Karley Crosby doubled and singled. Rebecca Dunn added a single.
Samantha Buller, 25-3, went the distance and took the loss. She gave up nine hits, walked six and struck out two.
Subervielle homered, doubled and drove in four runs for the Bengals. Simon and Wainwright each doubled and singled, while Clark, Nolan and Randi Vosburg each singled.
Bengals 10, Lady Bobcats 4
Clark homered twice, singled and drove in six runs to spark the Bengals.
LSU-Eunice took a 1-0 lead in the second when Nolan walked and later scored on Wainwright's infield single.
JCJC tied it in the bottom of the second when Makenzie Hawkins led off with a double and Brooke David followed with a single. McNabb's sacrifice fly to right scored Hawkins.
The Bengals added two runs in the third when Brooke Thomas singled and Kelsey Hollier reached on an error. Clark would follow with an RBI single and Hollier scored on an error.
LSU-Eunice added four runs in the fifth to make it 7-1.
Thomas singled and Nolan walked with two outs. Clark then launched a three-run home run over the left-center field fence and Subervielle followed with a solo shot.
In the bottom of the fifth, the Lady Bobcats came back with two runs.
McNabb was hit by a pitch and Reagan Gavin followed with her third home run of the season to center to make it 7-3.
The Bengals made it 8-3 in the sixth when Codi Covington led off with a double, was sacrificed to third by Morgan Tauzin and scored on Thomas' single.
LSU-Eunice went up 10-3 in the seventh. Nolan led off with a walk and Clark followed with another home run.
JCJC got its final run in the bottom of the seventh.
Dunn reached on an infield singled and McNabb followed with a double. An error on a line drive by McFarland would score Dunn.
Gavin homered, while Volking, McNabb and Hawkins each doubled for JCJC. David and Dunn added singles.
Michele Hester, 15-5, went the distance and took the loss. She gave up 11 hits, walked three and struck out one.
After Clark's effort, LSU-Eunice got a double and two singles from Covington and three singles from Thomas. Subervielle and Wainwright added singles.
Brooklyn Guillot started, went four-plus innings and got the win. She gave up three runs, four hits, walked one, hit one and struck out one. Delafield came on and pitched the final three innings. She allowed one run (unearned) and two hits.