Thursday, March 25, 2010

Softball game against MTSU

Ashley Eliasson delivering a pitch. (above)

I attended the JSU softball game last night. Actually, it was a double header…I missed the first game but did get to see the second game. The game was exciting, and it was great to see the team get the 5-1 win. I also got a chance to get some comments from coach Jana McGinnis on both games.

Coach McGinnis began by saying, “It was a tough loss in the first game. We just couldn’t get the big hit. We had every opportunity to win the game, so it was very frustrating. The highlight of that game was definitely (freshman) Hillary Phillips. Hillary gave us 10 innings without allowing an earned run.” With the loss, Hillary’s record goes to 4-5, but she has a great ERA at 2.17.

On the second game, Coach McGinnis told us, “We ended the night on a positive note, winning the second game. Ashley Eliasson did a great job; she only gave up two hits. We changed the batting line-up, just wanting to try some new things, and it gave us a new look.”

I thought this may have been a key point in the game. Jacksonville State was up 2-1 in the top of the third inning, MTSU was batting. With one out, and runners at first and second, Eliasson hit the batter with the pitch, loading the bases. The next batter hit a sharp grounder to third base, and Cara Longworth made a terrific defensive play to record an out without letting a run score. After some great pitches by Eliasson, and another great defensive play, the Gamecocks got out of the inning without allowing any runs. From that point on, it seemed like the team had all the confidence they needed, and added some insurance runs. Coach McGinnis told us, “Cara made a great play in the field. She has really given us a spark.”

I asked Coach McGinnis about the team, and how they compare now to the beginning of the season. “The defense and pitching are solid and consistent. The infield is really coming together, and they are all new except for Nikki (Prier). (3B was freshman Cara Longworth, SS was Tess Echols – a transfer from UGA, and 2B was Sallee Beth Burch – from Wallace State CC) They are beginning to play well together. We’ve still got to get our offense going. We have some great seniors, and I am counting on them to get us there.”

One more great play I want to mention. I don’t remember the inning, but Kaycee Crow playing Catcher threw out a runner attempting to steal second base. Great throw, and a great catch and tag by Sallee Beth Burch.

The game was exciting and a fun evening. Come out for the next home game on April 2nd against OVC opponent UT Martin.

Kaycee Crow hits her 4th home run of the season. (above)

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