|CLINTON – Another outstanding softball season came to a conclusion for the Jones County Junior College Lady Bobcats here Friday afternoon in the NJCAA Division II National Tournament at Traceway Park.
Illinois Central College got a home run from Cordan Jones in the top of the second inning and made it stand up as they defeated the Lady Bobcats 1-0 in an elimination game.
Earlier, top-seeded LSU-Eunice put JCJC into the loser’s bracket with an 8-2 decision over the Lady Bobcats.
JCJC ends the year at 44-10, giving them an 88-21 record over the past two years. For two straight years, the Lady Bobcats won the MACJC state championship, finished second in Region 23 and qualified for the Division II World Series. It is also the second consecutive season for JCJC to go 2-2 in the national tournament, giving them a top six finish in the event.
In other action Friday, LSU-Eunice whipped Phoenix College (Ariz.), 6-1 to remain the only unbeaten team in the tournament. Cowley County College (Kan.) beat Sauk Valley Community College (Ill.), 12-4 in six innings and Kirkwood Community College (Iowa), 3-2 in nine innings.
Cowley then met Illinois Central in an elimination game on Friday night. Illinois Central had beaten Highland Community College (Kan.), 4-3 in 11 innings before beating JCJC. Phoenix College had beaten Kirkwood 2-1 to set up the winner’s bracket game with LSU-Eunice.
On Saturday, the Cowley County/Illinois Central winners meets Phoenix College at 11:30 a.m. The winner of that game must beat LSU-Eunice twice in order to claim the championship.
The games will air on www.ihigh.com/njcaatv.
Illinois Central 1, Jones County 0
JCJC started the game in good fashion when C.C. Lawn and Relanda McFarland reached on bunt singles in the bottom of the first. But a strikeout, flyout and groundout ended the threat.
Cordan Jones then homered over the left-centerfield fence in the top of the second to give the Cougars a 1-0 lead.
JCJC received a leadoff single from Bethany Volking in the fourth, but a double play ended the inning.
With two outs in the fifth, Reagan Gavin hit a deep drive off the leftfield fence for a double, but a strikeout ended the inning.
In the sixth, CC Lawn led off with a single and was sacrificed to second by McFarland. But a groundout by Volking and a deep flyout to right by Karley Crosby ended the inning. The Lady Bobcats were retired in order in the bottom of the seventh.
Samantha Buller, 26-5, started and took the loss. She went 2 1/3 innings, gave up one run and two hits. Michele Hester went the final 4 2/3 innings, allowed no runs, three hits, walked one and struck out one.
Lawn had two singles for JCJC, while Gavin doubled. McFarland and Volking added singles.
McKenzie Vissering went the distance and posted the shutout victory. She scattered five hits, walked none and struck out two.
Paige Garber doubled and singled for the Cougars, while Cordan Jones homered. Dani Smith added a double and Jaime Scott singled.
Illinois Central improved to 31-14 with the win.
LSU-Eunice 8, Jones County 2
The Lady Bobcats took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first.
Lawn reached on a walk, took second on a passed ball and went to third on illegal pitch. Lawn would score on McFarland’s infield single. An infield single by Volking gave JCJC runners at first and second with no outs, but a double play and a groundout ended the threat.
LSU-Eunice answered quickly in the bottom of the first.
Brooke Thomas led off with a walk and one out later, Kelsey Hollier blasted a home run just inside the leftfield foul pole to make it 2-1.
Taylor Simon homered for LSU-Eunice in the third to make it 3-1.
The Lady Bengals then added three more runs in the fourth.
Pamela Wainwright led off with a single and Cody Covington followed with another home run. Randi Vosburg then drew a walk and Thomas reached on a bunt single. A wild pitch advanced the runners and Simon’s sacrifice fly scored Vosburg.
The Lady Bobcats got a run back in the fifth.
Gavin led off with a single. Angela Land’s fly ball to center fell to the turf, but Gavin was forced at second on the play because she had to wait and see if the ball would be caught. Lawn reached on an error and Land would score on an illegal pitch.
LSU-Eunice added two runs in the sixth when Thomas reached on an error, went to second on a groundout and scored on Hollier’s single. Emily Nolan followed with a single and Brooklynn Clark’s fielder’s choice scored Hollier.
Buller started, went three-plus innings and took the loss. She allowed six runs, six hits, walked five and struck out two. Hester went the final three innings, gave up two runs (one earned), three hits, walked two and struck out none.
Dunn singled twice for JCJC, while McFarland, Volking, Brooke David and Gavin added singles.
Elizabeth Delafield was the starter and winner for LSU-Eunice. She went 4 1/3 innings, allowed two runs (one earned), five hits, walked two and struck out none. Julienne Broussard went the final 2 2/3 innings, gave up no runs, one hit, walked one and struck out five.
Covington homered and singled twice for the Bengals, while Hollier homered and singled and Simon homered. Thomas, Nolan and Wainwright added singles for the Bengals.
LSU-Eunice improved to 60-5 with the victory.