Jenna Jurisich didn’t do it all.
But she did a lot, and her teammates chipped in to make sure Ursuline stayed alive.
In the bidistrict round of the Class 4A softball playoffs Tuesday, Jurisich pitched a complete game and went 3-for-4 with two runs scored as No. 8-seeded Ursuline defeated against No. 25 Northwood 9-4.
Ursuline (20-9) will play No. 9 Plaquemine on Saturday.
Plaquemine was an 11-9 winner over Belle Chasse.
“We had a lot of errors. We just had to come back,” said Jurisich, who improved to 10-3 in the circle. “We had to gain our confidence. Hitting is contagious. It kind of brings us all up. It makes us do better in the field.”
Northwood took a 2-0 lead in the top of the third inning. Stormi Murray reached on an error and scored on another Ursuline miscue to take the early 1-0 lead. Meghan Simms then scored on Sadie Murray’s single to give Northwood another run.
Then Ursuline erupted, amassing five runs on four hits, extending their lead to pull ahead 5-2 in the bottom of the third.
The Lions came to life when Bailey Roe bunted to bring in Maddie Avery, cutting Northwood’s lead to 2-1. Ursuline tied the score when Roe came home on Meta Hight’s double. The Lions then took the lead when Christie Cutrer’s double brought in Hight.
Ursuline piled on three more runs in the sixth.
Although Northwood (10-18) came into the game as an underdog, Ursuline coach Steve Dickey said the Falcons were capable of winning playoff games on the road.
“We knew they won their last two playoff games on the road the last two years,” he said. “That’s a very experienced coach (Northwood’s Greg Swearengin). We knew it was going to be a tough battle. We we’re prepared for it.”
Roe went 2-for-4 and scored two runs for Ursuline while Hight also went 2-for-4 and scored a run. Emily Cotton added two hits, as well.
Stormi Murray went 3-for-4 and scored two runs for Northwood. Simms went 2-for-4 and scored a run.
Northwood’s Sadie Murray started in the circle and was relieved by Jenna Blythe during the third. Sadie Murray finished the game.
“We have played a lot of really good teams and gotten down and came back on good teams,” Dickey said, referring to Ursuline’s early deficit. “They’re so young, it’s almost easier for them to concentrate. They are totally focused on what they’re doing and not focused on the fact that they’re up or down any number of runs.”
Northwood was on top early because of its effective bunting, which Swearengin said was done to spark the offense.
“In a game, you got to try to make something happen. You got to test the defense,” he said. “We were able to put a bunt down. They make an error. We were able to steal a couple of bases and try to make a few things happen.”
Swearengin had other concerns besides seeding.
“My goal every year is, how I can prepare my kids for the playoffs?” he said. “Yeah, I’d like to be a top four or five. Knowing the group I had, I scheduled as tough as I could schedule in north Louisiana. I think we had 10 one-run ballgames this year.
“We played some of the top 4A and 5A schools. I think that preparation prepared us for this. Other than one big inning, this was a lot closer ballgame.”