SOFTBALL: Jackets split doubleheader with Mississippi College
LONGVIEW -- The LeTourneau YellowJackets claimed their first win over Mississippi College this season as the two teams split a Wednesday doubleheader.
The Jackets won the opener 4-3 while the Choctaws held off a late rally by the home team to win the second game 11-8.
Taylor Thibodeaux took the decision in both games for the Jackets as her record moved to 10-16. She pitched all seven innings in game one to earn the complete-game victory.
The YellowJackets (18-19) moved to 7-15 in American Southwest Conference East Division play. Mississippi College (22-14) finished ASC East play with a record of 13-11. The game one loss to the YellowJackets delivered a serious setback to the Choctaws' chances to make the ASC Playoffs.
LeTourneau took an early lead in game one when Brooklyn Greene knocked a solo home run in the bottom of the first inning. Two batters later, Sara Whitehead drew a walk and then came home on Christin Mickelboro's RBI double.
The Jackets extended their lead to 3-0 when Jourdan Glover knocked her first home run of the season to lead off the bottom of the second inning.
Meanwhile, Thibodeaux cruised in the early going, not allowing a base hit in the fourth inning. The Choctaws threatened in the fourth, loading the bases and scoring a run on a fielder's choice that didn't produce an out. However, the Jackets recovered and got the last two outs of the inning on back-to-back groundballs.
In the bottom of the sixth, Mickelboro knocked her second RBI of the game on a double that scored Ashley McPhail. The run proved to be just the margin the Jackets needed as the Choctaws scored two in the seventh before their rally faded.
The win gave the Jackets their first win over Mississippi College since 2008. Thibodeaux allowed only four hits and struck out six batters while being charged with only one earned run.
In game two, the Choctaws wiped out a 3-2 lead by scoring nine runs in the sixth and seventh innings. Mississippi College scored in six in the final inning; the 11-3 lead ended up being more important than they might have realized, as the Jackets plated five in the bottom of the seventh.
Juliana Tuel and McPhail both reached base to lead off the seventh inning, and both came home on Greene's long single. After Whitehead reached base on an error, Mickelboro knocked her seventh home run of the season, cutting MC's lead to 11-8.
The Choctaws then opted to bring in Courtney Nunn to replace Kim Mason. Nunn, the Choctaws' top pitcher and pitcher of record in game one, retired the next three batters to earn the save.
The Jackets conclude their season Saturday with a doubleheader at East Texas Baptist.