May 9, 2013 11:50 PM by LSUE Sports Information
The LSU Eunice softball team opened NJCAA Region 23 play on Thursday afternoon, beating East Central Community College 6-1 in their first game in two weeks.
The Lady Bengals (53-4) now advance to play Mississippi Gulf Coast, who won in walk-off fashion over Pearl River Community College in their opening game.
"We got down a run early, and I was worried. I thought we came out a little rusty. Our pitcher was mis-locating up in the zone and our batters were nervous, some of the freshmen," head coach Andy Lee said.
"Our timing came around and we made adjustments, we battled and got some big, emotional hits with home runs. A win is a win," Lee added.
Down one run, the Lady Bengals took the lead for good in the bottom of the third inning on a two-run homer from Kelsey Hollier to straight away center field.
LSU Eunice added to their lead with back-to-back solo home runs in the fifth inning by Brooke Clark and Taylor Simon before scoring their final two runs in the sixth off a pair of East Central errors.
Lady Bengal pitcher Julienne Broussard earned the win in the circle, going the distance and allowing seven hits and stranding seven runners while allowing one run - a solo homer in the second inning that gave East Central the early lead.
Brooke Thomas (1-4, 2 runs) singled to open the third inning before Hollier's home run, while the Lady Bengals also received one hit from Emily Nolan, Ashley Subervielle and Pam Wainwright.
The Lady Bengals made several defensive plays in the game, notably gunning down an East Central runner at the plate to end the top of the first on a perfect play from Covington in left-center field, relayed by Wainwright before the runner was blocked at the plate by catcher Randi Vosburg.
Broussard got out of a jam on her own in the third inning, when East Central had the bases loaded with one out and the top of the order coming up. Broussard bore down and recorded a strikeout and a soft ground ball right back to her to end the inning and end the threat.
LSU Eunice will play Mississippi Gulf Coast tomorrow morning at 10 a.m., with game time moved up due to forecasts calling for rain to move into the area.
Tomorrow's game against MGCCC can be seen on Bengal All-Access and heard over the airwaves on KVPI 1050 AM.