MISSISSIPPI VALLEY STATE 8, JACKSON STATE 7
DECATUR, Ala. — For the second straight day at the SWAC Softball Tournament, “The Comeback Kids” of Mississippi Valley State came from behind Thursday to stay in the winner’s bracket.
Jahcenda Garrett had a walkoff single to center field in the bottom of the seventh inning to send the Devilettes past rival Jackson State, 8-7, at Wilson Morgan Park. Valley fought its way back from an early 5-0 deficit to beat the No.1-seeded Lady Tigers, who fall into the loser’s bracket.
Going into the bottom of the seventh inning, MVSU trailed 7-5 before putting up three runs to secure a spot in Friday’s semifinal game at 10 a.m.
“I have to give it to our players and coaching staff, they never gave up,” said MVSU head coach Lee Smith. “No matter what situation we’ve found ourselves in during this tournament, they’ve kept their focus and gotten the job done. I couldn’t be any prouder of our group.”
MVSU cut the lead to 7-6 after a bases loaded walk with two outs by Brandi Williams. Garrett followed it up with one of the biggest hits of her career to put away JSU.
The Lady Tigers had taken the momentum early in the game by running out to a 5-0 lead after two innings, but Valley responded with an RBI-single by Tracey Williams in the third inning to cut the lead to 5-1. Then, the Devilettes had its largest offensive output in the fourth inning when Valley put up four runs — with three of them coming on a home run by Deja Talton, her fifth of the season, that tied the game at five.
JSU, however, fought back with two runs of its own in the top of the fifth inning on a pair of MVSU errors.
After both teams went scoreless in the sixth inning, it was MVSU that came out victorious thanks to the game-winning heroics of the Nashville native Garrett, who leads the Devilettes in batting average.
Cassandra Rivera (5-19) earned the win, giving up five earned runs on seven hits with one strikeout in 3.2 innings of work on the mound.
Talton led the Devilettes with three RBIs and Tracey Williams went 2-for-4 at the plate for Valley, which finished with seven hits in the game. JSU committed four errors in the contest.
ALABAMA STATE 21, ALCORN STATE 1
The Alabama State softball team defeated the Alcorn State Lady Braves 21-1 in five innings in the first game of day two action at 2014 SWAC Softball Tournament.
Taking a 19-1 lead into the fifth, ASU plated two more runs on two hits with two errors to extend the lead to it’s final. Yvette Ducoing, who was called on for pinch hit duty, singled and advanced to third on a fielding error and came around to score on Tamara Williams single. William later crossed home on an Aleesa Yanez ground out to the Alcorn shortstop.
The Lady Hornets busted the game open in the second inning by scoring 10 runs on five hits. The hornets would bat around registering nine RBIs. ASU didn’t look back as the scoring barrage continued in the fourth inning.
In the top half of the fourth, the Lady Hornets crossed home nine more times on eight hits and one error. ASU would score runs in the every inning except the first and third, but with two big scoring innings it would be all the Lady Hornets needed to keep from being eliminated.
The 2014 SWAC Player & Hitter of Year Meagan Dixon was 3-for-5 with two runs scored and three RBIs. ASU pitcher Melissa Christmann was credited with her eighth win of the season.
With this day two victory, the Lady Hornets moved on to face the Prairie View A&M in the rubber match to keep their 2014 championship hopes alive.
“We played with more intensity in this game than we had yesterday,” Assistant Head Coach Alyssa Smoke said. We just hope that the momentum carries over into the next game. We’ll just have to see where we go from there.”
TEXAS SOUTHERN 11, PRAIRIE VIEW A&M 4
During the second day of the SWAC Softball Tournament at Wilson Morgan Park, Texas Southern opened play against Prairie View, defeating their cross-town rival 11-4.
In the first inning, the Lady Tigers were first to get on the board with two RBI one from Brianna Parker and Brianna Simpson. Collectively TSU recorded 11 runs, 17 hits and 10 RBI.
Texas Southern will get the opportunity to clinch a spot in the SWAC Championship game on Friday with another win over the Lady Panthers.
The contest has been moved up to 10:00 am in due to the forecast of adverse weather later in the day.
PRAIRIE VIEW A&M 3, ALABAMA STATE 2
Down 2-0 heading into the top of the seventh, ASU scored two runs to tie the ballgame. The first run came when Meagan Dixon, who reached on a single, came home on Jazzmin Romero double to center field. The next ASU run scored on a Brittney Wilson triple that scored Romero from third.
The game would end on Prairie View scoring the winning run on a throwing error for the game’s final.
Dixon went 3-for-3 with one run scored for the Lady Hornets. This was an elimination match as both teams were fighting to play one more day.
“It was a fight to the end on every aspect of the game,” Smoke said. “We can’t go anywhere but up from here. The foundation that Meagan Dixon and Tamara Williams have set for this team will carry over to next season.”
SOUTHERN 12, GRAMBLING STATE 7
JACKSON STATE 14, SOUTHERN 3
Courtesy: SWAC Sports Information Directors