Record-setting season ends for Lady Bobcats in Region 23 Tournament

Written By: Shawn Wansley
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Date Submitted: 2011-05-06 19:16:35

 By Shawn Wansley

JCJC Sports Information Director

CLINTON – The most successful season in the history of Jones County Junior College fastpitch softball came to an end here Friday afternoon.

The Lady Bobcats dropped a 6-2 decision to the 7th-ranked Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College Lady Bulldogs in an elimination game of the Region 23 Tournament here at Traceway Park.

The Lady Bobcats, who had beaten East Mississippi Community College 9-6 earlier in the day, end the season at 35-15. It’s the most wins ever for JCJC fastpitch softball and it was the first time in school history for the team to advance to the MACJC State Tournament and Region 23 Tournament.

19th-ranked East Central Community College scored a run in the bottom of the seventh inning to defeat top-ranked LSU-Eunice 2-1 to remain the only unbeaten team in the tournament. LSU-Eunice then defeated Miss. Gulf Coast, 3-1, to eliminate the Lady Bulldogs.

East Central meets LSU-Eunice for the tournament title at noon on Saturday with the Bengals having to beat ECCC twice for the title. Both teams, however, automatically qualify for the NJCAA Division II National Tournament May 19-21 in Normal, Ill.

Earlier in the day, MGCCC eliminated Pearl River 9-1 in five innings.

Lady Bobcats 9, Lady Lions 6

JCJC scored four runs in the bottom of the first and never looked back in eliminating EMCC.

Heidi Garcich led off with a bunt single and one out later, Mallory Cowart drilled a two-run home run to centerfield. Shannon Mosley then singled and Jessmar Walters followed with an RBI double. One out later, Stacia Whitaker delivered an RBI single to give the Lady Bobcats a 4-0 lead.

The Lady Lions got on the board in the second inning when pitcher Cory Roberson walked, Nashedra Barry reached on an error and DeShuni Sanders drove in the run with a bunt single.

EMCC made it 4-2 in the third when Barefield led off with a single, was sacrificed to second by Mallory Pace and scored on Lainie Lomax’s single.

The Lady Bobcats took a 5-2 lead in the fourth when K.T. Perkins led off with a walk, was sacrificed to second by Whitaker and scored on a Kayla McDaniel single.

EMCC cut the lead to 5-3 in the top of the fifth. Jessie Clark reached on a fielder’s choice, Lomax singled and Roberson followed with an RBI single.

JCJC scored four runs to get some breathing room in the bottom of the fifth.

Haley Brooke Smith led off with a bunt single and Cowart followed with a double. Mosley then drove in Smith with an infield single and Walters followed with a two-run single. Whitaker then squeezed Walters home to give the Lady Bobcats a 9-3 advantage.

East Mississippi then rallied for three runs in the sixth, but could get no closer.

Barry led off with a double and Sanders reached on a bunt single. Cayla Coleman then delivered a two-run single. Clark’s groundout scored the game’s final run.

Ginger Lonergan started, went five-plus innings and posted the victory. She allowed nine hits, walked two, struck out four and improved her record to 18-6. Lauren Candies pitched the final two innings, gave up two hits and struck out three.

Cowart homered and doubled to pace JCJC, while Walters doubled and singled and Mosley had two singles. Garcich, Smith, Whitaker and McDaniel added singles.

Roberson went the distance and took the loss. She gave up 10 hits, walked one and struck out two.

Lomax, Roberson and Sanders had two singles each for EMCC, while Barry had a double. Coleman, Barefield and Pace had singles.

The Lady Lions end the season at 23-23.

Lady Bulldogs 6, Lady Bobcats 2

The Lady Bulldogs scored an unearned run in the bottom of the first to take a 1-0 lead. Courtney Fairley reached on a two-out error and Kris Albritton followed with an RBI double.

But JCJC came back to take a 2-1 lead in the top of the second. Stacia Whitaker got a two-out single and Jade McLeod followed with a two-run home run over the left-center field fence.

MGCCC tied it in the bottom of the second when Leslie Williams singled, was sacrificed to second by Mandy Fuller, took third on a groundout and scored on a bunt single squeeze by Katy White.

The Lady Bulldogs then scored three runs in the bottom of the third.

Fairley, Albritton and Herbert singled to load the bases with no outs. Mariha Partman’s sacrifice fly to right scored a run. A groundout by Williams plated Albritton and a single by Fuller made it 5-2.

MGCCC ended the scoring with a run in the fourth. Albritton, Herbert and Partman had consecutive singles to plate the run.

Candies, 17-9, started and took the loss. She went four innings, allowed six runs (five earned), 12 hits, walked none and struck out none. Lonergan went the final two innings and gave up no hits.

McLeod had the home run for JCJC, while Cowart doubled. Garcich, Smith and Whitaker added singles.

Bayleigh Babin went the distance and got the victory. She struck out one, walked none and gave up five hits.

Albritton doubled and singled twice, while Herbert singled three times for MGCCC. White, Fairley, Partman, Williams, Fuller and Deroch added singles.



Jones County 9, East Mississippi 6

East Mississippi (23-23)          011 013 0 – 6 11 0

Jones County (35-14)             400 140 x – 9 10 4

Cory Roberson and Jessie Clark. Ginger Lonergan, Lauren Candies (6) and Jessmar Walters. WP-Lonergan (18-6). LP-Roberson. East Mississippi hitters: Lainie Simcox 2 1B; Roberson 2 1B; DeShuni Sanders 2 1B; Nashedra Barry 2B; Cayla Coleman 1B; Leigh Ellen Barefield 1B; Mallory Pace 1B. JCJC hitters: Mallory Cowart HR, 2B; Jessmar Walters 2B, 1B; Shannon Mosley 2 1B; Heidi Garcich 1B; Haley Brooke Smith 1B; Stacia Whitaker 1B; Kayla McDaniel 1B. T-1:41.


Mississippi Gulf Coast 6, Jones County 2

Jones County (35-15)            020 000 0 – 2 5 1

Miss. Gulf Coast (36-12)        113 100 x – 6 12 0

Lauren Candies, Ginger Lonergan (6) and Jade McLeod. Bayleigh Babin and Ciera Deroche. WP-Babin. LP-Candies (17-9). JCJC hitters: Jade McLeod HR; Mallory Cowart 2B; Heidi Garcich 1B; Haley Brooke Smith 1B; Stacia Whitaker 1B. Gulf Coast hitters: Kris Albritton 2B, 2 1B; Kayla Herbert 3 1B; Katy White 1B; Courtney Fairley 1B; Mariha Partman 1B; Leslie Williams 1B; Mandy Fuller 1B; Ciera Deroche 1B. T-1:35.


Region 23 Fastpitch Tournament

Traceway Park


Thursday’s results

Game 1, Field 1, Jones County 4, Pearl River 1

Game 2, Field 2, LSU-Eunice 16, East Mississippi 2 (5 innings)

Game 3, Field 1, East Central 1, Jones County 0

Game 4, Field 2, LSU-Eunice 8, Miss. Gulf Coast 3 (9 innings)

Friday’s results

Game 5, Miss. Gulf Coast 9, Pearl River 1 (8 innings)

Game 6, Jones County 9, East Mississippi 6

Game 7, East Central 2, LSU-Eunice 1

Game 8, Miss. Gulf Coast 6, Jones County 2

Game 9, LSU-Eunice 3, Miss. Gulf Coast 1

Saturday’s games

Game 10, Field 1, East Central vs. LSU-Eunice, noon

Game 11, Field 1, if necessary, 2 p.m.

Top two teams advance to NJCAA Division II Softball National Championship in Normal, Ill., May 19-21.


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