Jacksonville State’s softball team returned home after a successful weekend in Fayetteville, AR, where the Gamecocks took part in the Woo Pig Classic.
JSU had a pair of games on Friday starting against Wright State.
The Raiders took a 3-0 lead early while holding the Gamecocks hitless for the majority of the game. In the sixth inning, JSU broke out, plating four runs to grab a one-run lead which would hold. JSU won their first matchup 4-3.
In the second game of the day, JSU faced the Panthers of Northern Iowa. This time the Gamecocks weren’t held hitless for long at all as junior Kalee Tabor blasted a two-run homer in the first inning, the sixth of the season already for the Lake Mary, FL. native. Sophomore Savannah Sloan then belted her first of the season immediately following Tabor’s shot.
JSU extended its lead in the second as Panther errors allowed base runners and Kelci Johnston had the only hit of the inning, an infield single that scored the third run of the inning. The fourth inning was another three-run frame as Johnston, Cadi Oliver and Amanda Martinez had back-to-back-to-back doubles.
Freshman Casey Akenberger earned her second win of the season in her complete game performance as Jax State won 9-1.
On Saturday, JSU faced their toughest challenge in host school Arkansas.
Senior Hilary Phillips took to the circle and pitched admirably, going 5 1/3 innings allowing just one run on three hits. Phillips' performance would not allow the Razorbacks of the SEC to come back, as they were placed in an early hole after Kelci Johnston hit a two-out, two-run shot to center in the top of the first.
The Gamecocks were out to a 5-1 lead, but Arkansas wouldn’t go easily, and a three-run homer in the final frame made it a one run game.
Junior Savanna Hennings entered the game for the JSU and pitched for the final three outs to close the deal while picking up her first save.
The Gamecocks topped the Razorbacks 5-4, but following a win over Wright State Saturday night in the semi-finals, JSU would face Arkansas again Sunday in the championship game after the Razorbacks won the semi-final game 17-1.