The LSU-Eunice softball team is bringing some hardware home.
The Lady Bengals scored a 12-4 victory against Jones County Junior College on Saturday in Clinton, Mississippi, to claim the NJCAA Division II softball championship.
“This team persevered all year,” coach Andy Lee told the Eunice News. “They improved all year and battled to get their way all the way to the championship. They wanted this title so bad after not making it last year.”
After falling 9-0 in its first game Saturday against JCJC — LSUE’s first loss of the tournament — the Lady Bengals responded in a big way.
JCJC jumped to a 1-0 lead in the first inning before the Lady Bengals answered with two runs in the second. They were sparked by a double by Annemarie Angelle, who scored on a hit by Jordan Hartman. Hartman scored on a double by Jaci Lavigne to give LSUE a 2-1 advantage.
Rebecca Skains opened the second with a solo home run, and Bobbi Smith walked and Angelle followed with a single. Molly Wilson belted a three-run homer to push the Lady Bengals ahead 6-1.
Jones closed the gap to 6-4 in the bottom half on a three-run homer by Kelly Byrd.
LSUE added a run in the top of the fourth when Lavigne singled and scored as Maddie Edmonston reached on an error.
The Lady Bengals sealed the championship with five runs in the top of the sixth, a rally that started when Lavigne singled, Edmonston doubled and Skains followed with her second home run.
Alli Daigle kept the rally going with a single, and Angelle hit another home run to extend the Lady Bengals’ lead to 12-4.
After allowing four runs in three innings, the LSUE defense stiffened and only gave up two hits over the final four innings.
Jones forced the if-necessary game when the Lady Bulldogs surged for nine runs over the first four innings and kept LSUE off the board.