Monday Sports Recap: USM, JCJC, WCU Softball & JCJC Basketball - WHLT 22 Connecting the Pine Belt

Monday Sports Recap: USM, JCJC, WCU Softball & JCJC Basketball

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Softball Concludes Season on Senior Day

Southern Miss dropped a 5-0 decision to FIU, ending the 2014 campaign.

HATTIESBURG, Miss. – The University of Southern Mississippi softball team fought hard, but dropped a 5-0 decision to FIU in the season finale at the Southern Miss Softball Complex. The Golden Eagles recognized a pair of seniors – Taylor Beck and Mackenzie Sher – following the game for their efforts over the past several years.

Southern Miss tallied four hits on the afternoon with Rachel Johnson, Morgan McKeever, Meaghen Nelson and Beck each recording back knocks. Michelle Stringer reached base twice with a pair of walks while Sher also drew a base on balls. The Golden Eagles were unable to push through a run, stranding six base runners, including three in scoring position.

In the circle, Shelbee Rodgers tossed her team-leading 21st complete game of the season. She surrendered five runs on nine hits in 7.0 innings of work. Rodgers walked five batters with two strikeouts. Despite the loss, Rodgers finished the season sixth in the Southern Miss record books for a season in wins with 15. She also ranked fifth in a season in shutouts (7) and strikeouts (168) in the USM annals.

FIU plated a run in the top of the second inning to take an early 1-0 lead. The leadoff batter singled to center field. With one out, the next batter beat out a bunt single to move the lead runner into scoring position. A third single of the inning loaded the bases. The Panthers used a sacrifice fly to left field to scratch the scoreboard. Rodgers induced a pop up to Sarah Evans at first base to close out the inning.

Southern Miss broke up the potential no-hit bid in the bottom of the third inning. Beck, who was the designated player in her final game as a Golden Eagle, lined a single through the right side of the infield for the first hit of the game. The Black and Gold were unable to advance a runner past first base, leaving the game stalled at 1-0.

The Panthers added a run in the top of the fifth inning. FIU used a walk and a single to place a pair of runners on base. The Panthers doubled their advantage with a RBI groundout to Meaghen Nelson at second base. The visitors used a hit batter to load the bases. Stringer thwarted a bunt attempt, flipping the ball out of her glove to Sher to cut down the lead runner. Stringer followed that with a snag of a line drive to close out the inning.

FIU added an insurance run in the top of the sixth inning. With one out, FIU’s Nicole Rascon tripled to left field to put a runner in scoring position. The next batter followed with a RBI single. The visitors bunted the runner over to second base, but a pop up to second base ended the inning.

Trailing 3-0, Southern Miss threatened in the top of the sixth inning. Johnson singled up the middle and McKeever followed with a single. After a pitching change, the two runners advanced 60 feet on a wild pitch. The Panthers were able to escape the inning without any damage as a foul out, a shallow fly ball to left field and a groundout ended the inning.

In the seventh inning the Panthers added a pair of insurance runs. A single and two walks loaded the bases with no outs for FIU. The next batter grounded out, driving in a run. The visitors used a sacrifice run to score the final run of the game.

The Golden Eagles threatened in the bottom of the seventh. Nelson singled through the left side of the infield to start the inning. Arielle Pollock was hit by a pitch and Stringer walked to load the bases with no outs. With the bases loaded and no outs, the Panthers used an unlikely triple play to end the game. The Black and Gold flied out to center field. The lead runner strayed away from the base to force a throw. The FIU third baseman caught the ball and quickly threw to second base, catching the USM player drifting away from the base. The runner at third faked home to try to induce a throw and allow the runner on first to advance. However, the Panthers threw to first, catching the runner off the bag for the final out of the game.

Chris Whitehead

University of Southern Mississippi

Assistant Director of Media Relations

118 College Drive #5017

Hattiesburg, MS 39406-0001

(601) 266-4503 (w) | (404) 697-6363 (c)

Twitter: @ChrisWhitehead5


No. 2 Lady Bobcats claim third straight MACJC championship!

By Shawn Wansley

JCJC Sports Information Director

FULTON – Winning never gets old.

Just ask the 2nd-ranked Jones County Junior College Lady Bobcats.

Samantha Buller posted her third win in three days and Makenzie Hawkins went 4-for-4 as the Lady Bobcats defeated Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College 7-1 here Sunday afternoon at the Itawamba Community College Softball Complex in the championship game of the MACJC State Tournament

It was the third straight state championship for head coach Chris Robinson and the Lady Bobcats.

It also capped a remarkable run for JCJC women’s athletics in 2013-14. There are four sports played in MACJC women’s athletics – soccer, basketball, tennis and softball – and the Lady Bobcats claimed the state championship in each event in this athletics’ year.

JCJC, 46-2, still has plenty of business to take care of this season.

They will host the Region 23 Tournament at Community Bank Park this week. The tournament will be played Thursday through Saturday and will feature JCJC, MGCCC, Pearl River and top-ranked LSU-Eunice. The top two teams in the tournament will advance to the NJCAA Division II National Tournament May 14-17 at Clinton’s Traceway Park.

The Region 23 Tournament bracket will be released Monday.

Lady Bobcats 7, Lady Bulldogs 1

Buller, a sophomore from Iowa, La., was sensational again for Jones as she improved to 26-1.

The LSU-Alexandria signee allowed one earned run, seven hits, walked none and struck out one. She pitched 19 innings over the weekend, allowing just two runs and posting three wins. Buller beat Pearl River 9-0 in five innings on Friday and MGCCC 4-1 on Saturday.

The game was scoreless until the third inning when the Lady Bobcats got the offense rolling.

Kimberly Nilsson led off with a single and Tori Dew drew a walk. Lauren Holifield then doubled to left to score Nilsson and make it 1-0. After a groundout, Hawkins singled to score Dew. Bailey Stokes then hit a sacrifice fly to center to drive in Holifield and make it 3-0.

The Lady Bulldogs only run came in the fourth when Emily Davis and Britney Butler singled. Brooke Ladner then singled to score Davis.

JCJC then put the game away with a four-run sixth.

Reagan Gavin led off with a walk and Savannah Lyon reached on a fielder’s choice. Lyon took second on the play and went to third on CC Lawn’s bunt single. Nilsson’s fielder’s choice grounder scored Lyon.

Dew then drilled her 19th home run of the season – a two-run shot to center – to make it 6-1. She now has a nation’s best 97 RBIs on the year.

Holifield, Seale and Hawkins then followed with consecutive singles, with Holifield scoring on Hawkins’ base hit.

Hawkins had four singles and two RBIs for JCJC, while Holifield had a double and two singles. Dew homered, singled and drove in two runs, while Lawn had two singles. Nilsson, Brittany Seale, Gavin and Lyon had singles.

Butler doubled and singled twice for MGCCC, while Davis doubled and singled and Ladner singled twice.

Paige Breal started and took the loss. She went 5 2/3 innings, allowed six runs (all earned), 10 hits, walked three and struck out one. Elise Richardson went 1 1/3 innings, gave up one earned run, four hits and struck out two.

The Lady Bulldogs are now 35-18.

MACJC Softball Tournament

At Itawamba Community College


Friday’s results

Game 1, Mississippi Gulf Coast 8, Itawamba 2

Game 2, Jones County 9, Pearl River 0 (5 innings)

Saturday’s results

Game 3, Jones County 4, Mississippi Gulf Coast 1

Game 4, Pearl River 5, Itawamba 0

Game 5, Mississippi Gulf Coast 4, Pearl River 3

Sunday’s result

Game 6, Championship, Jones County 7, Mississippi Gulf Coast 1

JCJC claims state championship


Bracket released for Region 23 Tournament

ELLISVILLE – The bracket has been released for the Region 23 Softball Tournament.

The tournament is scheduled for Thursday-Saturday at Community Bank Park. The top two teams in the event will advance to the NJCAA Division II National Tournament May 14-17 at Clinton’s Traceway Park.

Top-ranked LSU-Eunice (55-2) faces Mississippi Gulf Coast (35-18) at 4 p.m. on Thursday in Game 1. The host and 2nd-ranked Jones County Junior College Lady Bobcats (46-2) meet Pearl River (27-18) at 6 p.m. on Thursday in Game 2.

On Friday, the winners of Thursday’s games meet at 1 p.m. in Game 3, followed by the losers at 3 p.m. in Game 4. The loser of Game 3 meets the winner of Game 4 at 5 p.m. in Game 5.

The championship game is slated for 1 p.m. on Saturday with an if necessary game to follow.

Admission is $5 each day of the tournament.

Region 23 Tournament


Jones County Junior College


Thursday’s games

Game 1, LSU-Eunice (55-2) vs. Mississippi Gulf Coast (35-18), 4 p.m.

Game 2, Jones County (46-2) vs. Pearl River (27-18), 6 p.m.

Friday’s games

Game 3, Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2, 1 p.m.

Game 4, Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2, 3 p.m.

Game 5, Loser Game 3 vs. Winner Game 4, 5 p.m.

Saturday’s games

Game 6, Winner Game 3 vs. Winner Game 5, 1 p.m.

Game 7, If necessary

Top two teams advance to NJCAA Division II National Tournament May 14-17 in Clinton.


JCJC names Lockhart to as new men’s basketball coach

By Shawn Wansley

JCJC Sports Information Director

ELLISVILLE – Jones County Junior College has a new men’s basketball coach.

Rahim Lockhart, currently the head coach at Madison Central High School, will be officially introduced at an 11 a.m. press conference Monday in the JCJC Media Room.

“First, I am tremendously blessed to have this opportunity,” Lockhart said by phone Friday morning. “It is a great move for me both professionally and personally and I am so excited about going to Jones. Jones is no secret – it’s the best junior college in the state.

“They just won a national championship in basketball, football is always good and their baseball team is ranked No. 1 in the nation. They have a great campus and the things Jones can offer are second to none. When this opportunity came to me, it was a no-brainer.”

Lockhart replaces Jay Ladner, who left last month to become the head basketball coach at Southeastern Louisiana University. Ladner guided the Bobcats to the MACJC’s first-ever NJCAA Division I basketball championship in March in Hutchinson, Kan.

Lockhart has served as head coach at Madison Central since 2011, where he led the Jaguars to the 6A North State title in 2013 and 2014 and the 6A state finals in 2013. He was head coach at Grenada from 2009-11, leading the Chargers to North State in 2011.

Lockhart was the head coach at Taylorsville from 2007-09, guiding the Tartars to the 2A championship quarterfinals in 2008 and 2009 and a district championship in 2009. He served as an assistant coach at Piney Woods from 2005-07, helping the Tornadoes to the 2A state finals in 2007.

“I have been blessed to be a part of some elite programs,” he said. “When I started at Taylorsville, I was at the best 2A school in the state. They have a great athletics program. I moved up and there is no better 6A program in the state than Madison Central. They are a perennial power in football, great in basketball, outstanding in baseball, bowling or any sport.

“Madison Central was like being at a small junior college.”

Even though it will be his first junior college coaching position, Lockhart said there is not much difference in the sport on any level.

“The biggest thing will be, instead of dealing with 15-18-year-olds, you’re dealing with players that are 18, 19, 20 or 21-years-old,” he said. “Other than that, you have a round ball, a flat court and a goal that’s 10 feet high.”

Lockhart will meet with the returning Bobcat players on Friday afternoon.

“The most important thing for me right now is to meet with the team and let them how we want to expand the program,” he said. “I want them to know my commitment to them and the program. I already know their commitment by what they have accomplished.

“After that, I have to put together a great support staff.”

Lockhart, a Mendenhall native, played at Ole Miss from 1998-2001.

He led the Rebels to NCAA Tournament appearances in 1998, 1999 and 2001 and an NIT berth in 2000. In 2001, he helped Ole Miss to a school-record 27 wins and the school’s first NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 appearance.

He was a third-team All-American selection, was an All-SEC performer and an All-SEC Tournament selection.

Lockhart looks forward to being a Bobcat.

“I’m from right up the road in Simpson County and I’ve coached at Taylorsville,” he said. “I am familiar with Jones and I know what the school is all about.”




Shawn Wansley                                   

Sports Information Director

Jones County Junior College

900 South Court St.                                                                                                                

Ellisville, MS 39437



Lady Crusaders Fall in SSAC Title Game

Softball - Sat, May. 3, 2014

Box Score 1 Box Score 2

Gulf Shores, Ala.- After defeating Belhaven University earlier in the day to advance to the championship game, No. 11 William Carey University faced the task of defeating Spring Hill College and ace pitcher Caroline Sagrera twice to capture their second SSAC Championship.

WCU completed half the task as they rocked Sagrera in game one 10-2 to force the deciding game but it wasn't meant to be as WCU dropped a thrilling 2-1 game in the finals to the Lady Badgers.

The Lady Crusaders and Lady Badgers had hooked up seven times this season with four of the seven games being decided by one run.

Game one was not the norm for these two powers from the SSAC west division as WCU pounded out 15 hits as they crushed Spring Hill 10-2 to force a deciding game.

Spring Hill struck first with a run in the 1st  inning and when Taylor Webre smacked a solo home run in the 2nd inning the Lady Badgers had built a 2-0 lead.

WCU slowly put pressure on Spring Hill starter Caroline Sagrera with a sacrifice fly that scored a run in the 3rd inning and would threaten again in the 4th inning but left two runners stranded.  WCU finally broke through in the 5th inning  as Caroline Walker (JR/Woodville, Miss.) drove in Relanda McFarland (JR/Shubuta, Miss.) to tie the game at 2. Janessa Dedeaux (SR/Poplarville, MS) then put WCU up for good with a 2 run double later in the inning.

Carey continued to pour it on in the 6th inning as they tagged Sagrera with four runs capped off by Sarah Beckman (SR/Meridian, MS)'s 2 run home run. WCU added two more runs on a McFarland single to centerfield for the final runs of the game.

In the deciding game Sagrera returned the form and WCU fought to the end but ultimately fell to the Lady Badgers 2-1.

With the exception of one pitch WCU pitchers Brittany LeBlanc (JR/Maurice, La.) and Brittany Lang (SO/Biloxi, MS) were rock solid for the Lady Crusaders. However that one mistake proved costly as LeBlanc surrendered a 2 run home run to Mary Beth Glass in the 4th inning.

Sagrera kept WCU off balance the entire game but in the 7th inning Carey put together one last rally as Jasmine Shelby (SR/Gulfport, MS) smacked a one out solo home run to cut the Spring Hill lead to 2-1. Down to their final strike Janessa Dedeaux worked her way to a two out walk to

put the tying run on base. Next up for WCU was first baseman Laruen Russell who battled Sagrera in a thrilling 12 pitch at bat before popping out to third to end the game.

The Lady Crusaders will be back in action on Monday May 12th in opening round action in the 2014 NAIA National Tournament. WCU is one of ten host sites for the four team double elimination opening round brackets. Pairings for the 40-team NAIA softball national championship opening round tournaments will be announced on at 7 p.m. CDT on May 6.

Box Score Game One:

Box Score Game Two:


Lady Crusaders Pick Up SSAC Awards

Softball - Sat, May. 3, 2014

Montgomery, Ala.- The Southern States Athletic Conference released the end of the year softball awards on Saturday, May 3, 2014, and William Carey University was represented . The individual and team awards are voted on by all coaches in the conference. 

Leading the way for WCU was Caroline Walker (JR/Woodville, Miss.) who was named SSAC Newcomer of the Year,  All-SSAC, and was named the 2014 SSAC All- Tournament team . Joining Walker on the All-SSAC team was Jasmine Shelby (SR/Gulfport, MS), Relanda McFarland (JR/Shubuta, Miss.), and Sarah Beckman (SR/Meridian, MS). WCU pitcher Brittany Lang (SO/Biloxi, MS) was named to the SSAC All-Division team.  Lang and McFarland were also named to SSAC All-Tournament Team. Tiffany De Vore (FR/Picayune, Miss.) was named to the SSAC Freshman Team.

The Lady Crusaders also placed the most players on the 2014 Gold Glove team as Jasmine Shelby earned gold glove honors at 3rd base, Caroline Walker at shortstop, and Janessa Dedeaux (SR/Poplarville, MS) at catcher.

Eighteen Lady Crusaders were also named  as SSAC Scholar Athletes.

Player of the Year: Domnique Corona  Belhaven               

Division Player Of the Year: Jenny Shephard     Brenau

Pitcher of the Year: Cassie Daniels    Auburn Montgomery

Division Pitcher of the Year: Caroline Segrara    Spring Hill 

Newcomer of the Year :  Caroline Walker     William Carey           

Freshman of the Year: Lizzie Fela- Southern Wesleyan

Division Freshman of the Year: Anna Blake Barnette- Mobile

Coach of the Year: Christine Wilcoxson- Auburn Montgomery    

Gold Glove Team

1st Base - Elizabeth Schneider - Brenau

2nd Base - Morgan May- Martin Methodist

3rd Base - Jasmine Shelby- William Carey

Catcher - Janessa Dedeaux- William Carey

Outfielder - Shelby Watson- Belhaven

Outfielder - Dominique Corona- Belhaven

Ourfielder - Jenna Charnock -Spring Hill

Pitcher - Jenny Shepherd-  Brenau

Shortstop - Caroline Walker- William Carey

All Conference Team

Dominique Corona- Belhaven

Jenny Shephard- Brenau

Cassie Daniels- Auburn Montgomery

Caroline Sagrera -Spring Hill

Jasmine Shelby - William Carey

Josie Porter- Belhaven

Emily Todd - Belhaven

Lea Kittrell -Spring Hill

Sarah Beckman- William Carey

Caroline Walker - William Carey

Sam Wilson - Martin Methodist

Lizzie Fela- Southern Wesleyan

Lauren Shaw- Auburn Montgomery

Dharrianna Familia-Martin Methodist

Katie Spain- Auburn Montgomery

Taylor Powell- Auburn Montgomery

Kayle Hale-  Auburn Montgomery

Liz Schneider-Brenau

Katie Cole- Brenau

Relanda McFarland -William Carey

All Division Team

Jordan Coleman -Mobile

Sam Martin- Brewton Parker

Marie Sternon- Brewton Parker

Britney Burton- Emmanuel

Haley Craven- Coastal Georgia

Brittany Lang- William Carey

Ginger Lonergan- Belhaven

Jessica Paris-  Belhaven

Alley Benefield - Martin Methodist

Victoria Fontana -Brenau

Allison Barbee-  Southern Wesleyan

Brooklyn Jenkins- Bethel

Anna Blake Barnette- Mobile

Shea Blanchard-  Spring Hill

Keri Hyde -Faulkner

Mattie Dotson - Faulkner

Nicki Whitten- Blue Mountain

Whitney Hardwick-  Blue Mountain

Jenna Charnock - Spring Hill

Amie Kelly-  Auburn Montgomery

Reece Byrnes- Auburn Montgomery

SSAC 2014 Softball All-Tournament Team

Jade Sasser- AUM

Ginger Lonergan- Belhaven

Victoria Sorrell- Belhaven

Jordan Coleman- Mobile

Shea Blanchard-  Spring Hill

Taylor Weber-  Spring Hill

Brittany Lang-  WCU

Relanda McFarland-  WCU

Caroline Walker-  WCU

Caroline Sagrera- Spring Hill- Tournament MVP

SSAC Scholar Athlete

Brooklyn Guillot (SO/Port Allen, La.)

Brittany Lang

Lauren Little (SO/Raleigh, MS)

Meghan Maddox (SO/Waveland, MS)

Maggie Paulk (SO/McComb, MS)

Lindsey Rowe (SO/Madison, MS)

Lauren Russell (SO/Denham Springs, LA)

Hannah Cook-Kelley (JR/Phoenix, AZ)

Ramsi Dykes (JR/Collins, MS)

Brittany LeBlanc (JR/Maurice, La.)

Caroline Walker

Sarah Beckman

Lindsey Webb (JR/Vancleave, MS)

Janessa Dedeaux

Jasmine Shelby

Katy White (SR/Wiggins, MS)

Kayla Byrd (JR/Monticello, MS)

Tiffany De Vore

All Freshman Team

Theresa Byrnes-AUM

Alexia Boggess-AUM

Kayla Guthrie- Bethel

Jessalyn Brown-Blue Mountain

Victoria Fontana- Brenau

Allison Gunn- Brenau

Summer Whitmire- Brewton Parker

Taylor Horne- Coastal Georgia

Anna Blake Barnette- Mobile

Mackensie Williams- Mobile

Kate Lambert- Martin Methodist

Lizzie Fela- Southern Wesleyan

Sara Sweatt- Southern Wesleyan

Jenna Charnock- Spring Hill

Tiffany DeVore- William Carey

DJ Pulley

William Carey University

Sports Information Director

Assistant Women’s Basketball Coach

Cell: 601-270-7592

Office: 601-318-6111

Fax: 601-318-6550

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