The Jacksonville State University Softball team kicked off their 2020 season this past weekend with a road trip east to compete in the Kennesaw State Phyllis Rafter Memorial Classic in Kennesaw, Georgia. Seven seniors left the team last season, presenting an opportunity for several younger players to make an impression for the new season.
In an untraditional Tuesday game, the Gamecocks split with Tennessee Tech.
The Gamecocks headed up to Tennessee with a 24-10 record and an OVC record of 8-2 at the end of the double header the Gamecocks split with Tech coming home with a 25-11 record and an OVC record of 9-3.
In their first outing of the day against Tech, Faith Sims pitched a two-hitter and received the win on the day as the Gamecocks went on to defeat Tech 7-0. This game was Sims seventh shutout and 15th complete game of the season. There is no doubt that Sims commands the circle while she is in, especially seeing as after escaping a first inning bases loaded jam, she only allowed two baserunners the remaining six innings of the ballgame.
Sims had help from her offense Tuesday with seven hitters delivering eight hits. Hayley Sims, Lex Hull, and Karsen Mosley delivered three doubles today. While the bats were hot today in game one for the Gamecocks, there were errors delivered on Tennessee Tech’s side that allowed two Gamecock baserunners to score.
The second outing of the day left the Gamecocks hitless. The Gamecocks fell to Tech 2-0 with Arden throwing a no-hitter. Arden went the complete game for Tech while on the other side Nicole Rodriguez would suffer a loss. While only two runs were scored in the game those two runs came off of two solo shots delivered by Sparks and Love-Baker for Tennessee Tech.
The Gamecocks look to finish the week strong in their road trip back to Tennessee on Friday and Sunday. Friday JSU will face Belmont in a double header in Nashville. Then the Gamecocks will travel over to Tennessee State for another double header on Sunday where they wrap up their six-game road trip week.
For two weekends in a row the Jacksonville State University Gamecocks have come home victorious.
The first weekend at the Mercer Invitational, they came home with three wins and two losses. This past weekend, the Gamecocks traveled to Montgomery where they again returned home victorious with three wins and one loss under their belt.
This weekend was another great weekend for the Gamecocks. In their game on Friday, Anna Chislom’s two-run homer put the Gamecocks on top of UNA in an extra-inning thriller. This also moved pitcher Faith Sims to three wins on the season.
Saturday the Gamecocks split in beating Alabama A&M and falling to Western Carolina. Then on Sunday Taylor Beshears went 2-3, with one of those being a single run home-run and the other hit a double that drove in three runs. Sunday also lifted Faith Sims to four wins in the circle.
At this point in the season, the Gamecocks are 6-3 overall. This upcoming weekend they look to host a double header on Saturday followed by a single game on Sunday, all three against Southern Mississippi.
The Gamecocks are coming home for their first home series of the season. However, this home opener will be unconventional with University Field not being complete. The team will host their home games at Choccolocco Park in Oxford until the field is ready.
This past weekend the Jacksonville State Gamecock Softball team traveled to Macon, GA to compete in the Mercer Invitational. For the overall weekend the Gamecocks finished with three wins and two losses to start the opening weekend of softball off right.
On Friday, the Gamecocks had a huge day and discovered their diamond in the rough in Kirsten Titus.
Before this weekend, Titus only had two career hits as a Gamecock. By the end of this weekend she had four hits with three of those being home runs. Titus also did well in the pitching circle, where she only gave up three hits.
Another Gamecock pitcher that had a huge weekend is none other than Faith Sims. On Friday against Army, Sims pitched the first no hitter for the Gamecocks since 2016. On the whole weekend she struck out 16 batters and only allowed two hits. This weekend also served as Sims first outing since having elbow surgery in the off-season.
On Friday following the 6-0 win against Army, the Gamecocks showed up and showed out against Rutgers winning 11-0. However, on Saturday both Army and Rutgers got their revenge on the Gamecocks, beating them respectively 11-6 and 13-5.
On Saturday against Rutgers, the Gamecocks used pitchers Alexus Jimmerson and freshman Lexi Androlevich. Against Army even though the Gamecocks fell 13-5 center fielder Taylor Beshears had a big day with all four appearances at the plate ending with four hits. Of those four hits, three were homers and one was a single.
With the two losses ending the day Saturday, the Gamecocks had to regroup and come back Sunday for one game against the host team Mercer. Sunday, the Gamecocks placed Sims back in the circle to end the weekend. JSU topped Mercer 15-0 in 5 innings.
In those five innings, Sims looked as pretty as a picture, striking out seven batters and only allowing two hits and no errors. Her team around her helped cap off the win with their offensive and defensive dominance.
Overall the Gamecocks had a decent weekend and hope to have a better weekend this weekend when they head down to Montgomery to participate in the Alabama State Black and Gold Tournament.
Alexus Jimmerson (22) talks to Ryann Luna (26) after an at bat Tuesday against Georgia Tech. Luna hit the game-winning single in the ninth inning against the Yellow Jackets. (Katy Nowak/JSU)
Daniel Mayes,Sports Editor
The Jacksonville State Softball squad took a break from their OVC schedule to take on the Yellow Jackets of Georgia Tech Tuesday night at Choccolocco Park, and the result was a thriller of a 2-1 walk-off nine-inning win for the Gamecocks.
With two outs in the bottom of the ninth, JSU sophomore Ryann Luna got an infield single that would score Anna Chisolm and claim the game 2-1 for the Gamecocks. Luna went 2-3 at the plate on the evening and tallied one RBI—the game winner.
Luna finished the deal for JSU, but the contest was a pitcher’s duel, with the two teams allowing just two total hits until the fifth inning.
JSU’s Faith Sims would outduel Tech’s Emily Anderson for the win.
Sims, who gave up just one run to a team that came in to the contest with 46 home runs on the season, pitched a complete nine innings, allowing just five hits while striking out nine, earning the win, her sixteenth on the year.
Anderson held her own for Tech, allowing just seven hits in 8 and 2/3 innings.
JSU finally broke through with their first run, a Hayley Sims RBI double, in the bottom of the fifth, to make the score 1-0.
The Yellow Jackets answered right back in the sixth, as a single with the bases loaded scored one to knot the game back up.
The contest stayed deadlocked until Luna’s game-clincher.
The win marks the second straight for the Gamecocks over Georgia Tech and the their third in the last five matchups.
JSU will resume their conference schedule at their home away from home this weekend, as the Gamecocks host a pair of doubleheaders at Choccolocco Park in Oxford.
Morehead State will face the Gamecocks first for a pair of games beginning at 1:00 p.m. Saturday, April 28.
Eastern Kentucky comes in for a two-game set on Sunday, also commencing at 1:00 p.m.