HOMEWARD BOUND: JSU suffers two tough losses to end ASUN tourney run
May 11—The Jacksonville State softball team is headed home.
The Gamecocks' typically potent offense struggled to score runs as they fell twice in the double-elimination ASUN tournament in DeLand, Fla. Third-seeded JSU dropped a 4-2 decision to second-seeded Liberty to fall into the elimination bracket, and then the Gamecocks lost 6-4 to fourth-seeded Florida Gulf Coast.
In the opening game, JSU managed only three hits, and both runs came on a two-run single by Lindsey Richardson that nearly didn't count.
In the elimination game, the Gamecocks trailed 5-0 going into the bottom of the sixth before they took advantage of three hits and three walks to score four runs. The rally ended there, and after FGCU got a run in the top of the seventh, JSU went down in the bottom half of the inning, getting only a single from senior Brantly Bonds in her final collegiate at-bat.
JSU's season ended at 31-22.
What to know
—Head coach Jana McGinnis rejoined the team after attending funerals for her daughter Kinsey Lane McGinnis on Tuesday and Wednesday. Her husband, Russ McGinnis, said the family was especially appreciative of Jacksonville State hosting the Celebration of Life on Tuesday, which included handling the logistics. Kinsey Lane McGinnis, 26, passed away Sunday morning. At the tournament, the JSU softball players wore blue and purple ribbons in Kinsey's honor.
—In the first game, Abbi Perkins doubled, Holly Stewart singled, and Richardson had the single. Lauren Hunt and Morgan Nowakowski each walked, and Sidney Wagnon was hit by a pitch.
—Richardson's hit came in the top of the third inning with JSU trailing 1-0 with two outs and Perkins on third and Wagnon on second. Perkins drilled a single to right field that Liberty right fielder Rachel Roupe picked up and fired to first base. At first Richardson was called safe. Liberty's coaches asked for the umpires to consult with each other, and when they did, they had a new ruling — Richardson was out. JSU asked for a video replay, which is available at the ASUN tournament. The replay showed that Richardson reached the bag well ahead of the throw, and the call was changed again.
—Kat Carter (6-7) started the opener and worked 3 1/3 innings, allowing four runs. She sailed until the bottom of the fourth when with one out she gave up two walks and a home run by KK Madrey. Jaliyah Holmes finished the final 2 2/3 innings.
—In the second game, JSU's big sixth inning started with a Richardson homer to slice the lead to 5-1. Bonds doubled, and Nowakowski and Linley Tubbs each walked. After an out, Perkins doubled home Bonds and Nowakowski. Wagnon walked, and Emma Jones' fielder's choice brought home Tubbs. Camryn McLemore grounded out to end the inning.
—Bonds finished 2-for-3 with an RBI and successful sacrifice bunt. Richardson was 1-for-3 with a walk and the home run. Nowakowski was 1-for-2 with two walks.
—Emma Jones was 1-for-2 with two walks and an RBI. Perkins was 1-for-3 with a double and two RBIs.
—Holmes started in the circle and went 4 2/3 innings, allowing a run in the second inning and two in the fifth. Only two of the runs against her were earned. Sarah Currie finished by working the final 2 1/3 innings, allowing three runs, including only one that was earned.
Senior Editor Mark Edwards: 256-235-3570. On Twitter: @MarkSportsStar.