CLINTON – The Jones County Junior College Lady Bobcats are one of only four unbeaten teams remaining in the 16-team NJCAA Division II National Tournament.
The Lady Bobcats, seeded No. 5, overcame a 2-0 deficit with a three-run rally in the bottom of the sixth inning to beat fourth-seeded Cowley County Community College (Kan.), 3-2 here Thursday afternoon at Traceway Park.
The victory moves JCJC into a winner's bracket battle at noon on Friday with Region 23 foe LSU-Eunice. LSU-Eunice defeated Mercyhurst North East (Penn.), 19-1 in five innings on Thursday.
The Lady Bobcats are now 44-8, matching last year's victory total when they ended the year at 44-11. Cowley County falls to 51-7.
JCJC defeated LSU-Eunice (59-5) 5-4 last week in the Region 23 Tournament, but the Bengals rebounded to beat JCJC 6-0 and 10-4 to claim the tournament title.
The other two unbeaten teams in the national tournament are Kirkwood Community College (Iowa) and defending champion Phoenix College (Ariz.). Kirkwood edged Illinois Central College, 3-2, and Phoenix defeated Highland Community College (Kan.), 8-6.
Lady Bobcats 3, Lady Tigers 2
The Lady Bobcats put the pressure on Cowley County in the sixth and it paid off.
Relanda McFarland led off with a bunt single. Bethany Volking then grounded to Cowley third baseman Austen Hilt, who threw to second in an effort to force McFarland. But the throw was late and both runners were safe.
Karley Crosby then reached on a fielder's choice and Volking was forced at second. Makenzie Hawkins then delivered an RBI single to score McFarland and make it 2-1.
Brooke David then hit a groundball to shortstop Haley Strawn who threw to first baseman Colby Dreshar. She was ruled safe initially, but after a brief discussion among all three umpires, David was called out.
That brought up Rebecca Dunn with pinch-runner Angela Land on third base and Hawkins at second. Dunn came through with a clutch, two-run, two-out single to right to score both runners and put the Lady Bobcats ahead.
In the top of the seventh, Michele Hester retired the Lady Tigers in order and the Lady Bobcats had secured the victory.
Cowley County had a taken a 1-0 lead in the third when Strawn led off with a home run over the left field fence. They made it 2-0 in the top of the sixth when Jordan Haya reached on a two-out single, stole second and scored on Caitlyn Cosme's single.
Hester pitched the final three innings in relief and recorded the win. Hester, 16-5, allowed one run, two hits and struck out one. Starter Samantha Buller went the first four innings, gave up one run, three hits, walked two and struck out two.
JCJC received two singles each from Dunn and Reagan Gavin and one single each from McFarland, Hawkins and Kalyn McNabb. The bottom third of the order – Dunn, McNabb and Gavin – accounted for five of JCJC's seven hits.
Jessica Seay went the distance and absorbed her first loss of the year. Seay, 26-1, gave up seven hits, walked one and struck out one.
Strawn homered for the Tigers, while Laura Seeman, Haya, Cosme and Dreshar added singles.
At Traceway Park
Jones County 3, Cowley County CC (Kan.) 2
Cowley County, Kan. (51-7) 001 001 0 – 2 5 0
Jones County (44-8) 000 003 x – 3 7 0
Jessica Seay and Taylor Watham. Samantha Buller, Michele Hester (5) and Brooke David. WP-Hester (16-5). LP-Seay (26-1). Cowley County hitters: Haley Strawn HR; Laura Seeman 1B; Jordan Haya 1B; Caitlyn Cosme 1B; Colby Dreshar 1B. JCJC hitters: Rebecca Dunn 2 1B; Reagan Gavin 2 1B; Relanda McFarland 1B; Makenzie Hawkins 1B; Kalyn McNabb 1B. LOB: Cowley County 4; JCJC 6. T – 1:36.
At Traceway Park
Game 1, No. 1 LSU-Eunice 12, Murray State College (Okla.) 4 (5 innings)
Game 2, No. 8 Mercyhurst North East (Penn.) 2, Kankakee Community College (Ill.) 0
Game 3, No. 5 Jones County 11, Lincoln Land Community College (Ill.) 1, (5 innings)
Game 4, No. 4 Cowley County Community College, Kan. 11, Cuyahoga Community College (Ohio) 3, (5 innings)
Game 5, No. 3 Kirkwood Community College, (Iowa), 10, CCBC-Catonsville (Md.), 10-1 (6 innings)
Game 6, No. 6 Illinois Central College 8, Kalamazoo Valley Community College, (Mich.) 3
Game 7, No. 7 Highland Community College (Kan.) 6, Sauk Valley Community College (Ill.) 1
Game 8, No. 2 Phoenix College (Ariz.) 9, Burlington County College (N.J.) 1 (5 innings)
Game 9, Kankakee 9, Murray State College 6
Game 10, Lincoln Land 11, Cuyahoga 2 (5 innings)
Game 11, Kalamazoo Valley 10, CCBC-Catonsville 0 (5 innings)
Game 12, Sauk Valley CC 12, Burlington County College (5 innings)
Game 13, LSU-Eunice 19, Mercyhurst North East 1 (5 innings)
Game 14, Jones County 3, Cowley County 2
Game 15, Kirkwood 3, Illinois Central College 2
Game 16, Phoenix College 3, Highland 2
Game 17, Mercyhurst North East vs. Sauk Valley, 5:30 p.m., Field 4
Game 18, Cowley County vs. Kalamazoo Valley, 5:30 p.m., Field 3
Game 19, Illinois Central vs. Lincoln Land, 5:30 p.m., Field 2
Game 20, Highland vs. Kankakee, 5:30 p.m., Field 1
Game 21, LSU-Eunice vs. Jones County, noon, Field 1
Game 22, Kirkwood vs. Phoenix College, noon, Field 2
Game 23, Winner Game 20 vs. Winner Game 19, noon, Field 3
Game 24, Winner Game 18 vs. Winner Game 17, noon, Field 4
Game 25, Loser Game 21 vs. Winner Game 23, 2 p.m., Field 1
Game 26, Loser Game 22 vs. Winner Game 24, 2 p.m. Field 3
Game 27, Winner Game 21 vs. Winner Game 22, 4 p.m., Field 2
Game 28, Winner Game 25 vs. Winner Game 26, 6 p.m., Field 2
Game 29, Loser Game 27 vs. Winner Game 28, 11:30 a.m., Field 2
Game 30, Winner Game 27 vs. Winner Game 29, 1:30 p.m., Field 2
Game 31, if necessary, Winner Game 30 vs. Loser Game 30, 3:30 p.m., Field 2