May 18, 2013 8:13 AM by LSUE Sports Information
The LSU Eunice softball team is heading back to their third consecutive NJCAA National Championship game after a 6-1 victory over Phoenix College in the Lady Bengals second game of the day Friday afternoon.
The top-seeded Lady Bengals (61-5) saw the sophomore duo of Kelsey Hollier and Taylor Simon both collect two hits and combine to drive home five of the six runs in the win over No. 2-seeded Phoenix.
"It's a good feeling being in the championship game, but we were here last year. Hopefully we have learned from that. It is great to be back in the championship game and great to beat a good ball club like that," head coach Andy Lee said.
"(Hollier and Simon) are the heart and soul of this team right now. They are carrying this team, being leaders on this team, they are great people, and I am just proud of the way they have stepped up as sophomores," he added.
Simon gave LSU Eunice the lead in the top of the first inning with her RBI single to plate Brooke Thomas before coming up the second inning and extending the lead with another RBI single to again plate Thomas.
Hollier followed Simon and delivered a bases-loaded double into the left-center field gap to plate all three runs and push the lead out to 5-0.
In the top of the fourth, it was again Hollier coming through, this time with an RBI single to plate Thomas and give the Lady Bengals a six-run lead.
Phoenix scored their lone run in the bottom of the sixth, but Lady Bengal pitcher Julienne Broussard kept Phoenix off balance the rest of the night, tossing a complete game, four-hitter and allowing just the one run on two walks while striking out four batters.
In addition to Hollier and Simon, the Lady Bengals also received two-hit nights from Thomas and Emily Nolan (double) as the top four hitters in the lineup combined for eight of the 10 LSU Eunice hits.
Ashley Subervielle and Codi Covington added a hit each as well.
The Lady Bengals now wait to see who their opponent will be tomorrow afternoon in a 1:30 p.m. game for the national title. LSU Eunice would have to lose twice tomorrow to be eliminated.
Tomorrow's NJCAA National Championship game can be seen for free on NJCAA TV.
The LSU Eunice softball team won their opening game of the day in the NJCAA National Championship Tournament with a 8-2 victory over Jones County Junior College to advance to play at 4 p.m. later Friday afternoon.
The Lady Bengals (60-5) used three home runs to push past Jones County in the fourth meeting in a week between the two Region 23 foes.
"It was a really good win, and a win we needed to have a chance in this tournament. They got up early but our girls responded with the two-run homer and you saw the momentum shift," head coach Andy Lee said.
LSU Eunice advances to take on Phoenix College, who advanced with a 2-1 victory over Kirkwood Community College earlier Friday.
The meeting will mark a rematch of last year's national tournament final that saw Phoenix take two wins over the Lady Bengals to claim the title.
Tonight's winner will move to the championship game tomorrow afternoon, while the loser will have to win three games tomorrow to win the title.
"I think these girls are ready and we are excited. We are playing well right now and hopefully can keep this momentum going," Lee said.
Against Jones County, the Lady Bengals saw their opponents score a run in the top of the first before Kelsey Hollier sent a towering two-run homer down the left field line to give LSU Eunice a lead they would never give up.
They pushed the lead higher in the third inning with a solo home run by Taylor Simon before Codi Covington's two-run homer was part of a three-run fourth inning to push the lead to 6-1.
Jones added a run in the top of the fifth, but that would be as close as they would get, as the Lady Bengals added two final runs in in the bottom of the sixth on an RBI single from Hollier and on a fielder's choice for the final score.
Hollier and Covington each finished with two hits, with Hollier collecting three RBIs and Covington drving home two of her own.
Simon (1-3) added two RBIs, while Brooke Thomas, Emily Nolan and Pam Wainwright each added a hit as well.
Elizabth Delafield earned the win for the Lady Bengals, tossing 4 1/3 innings and allowing four hits and two runs (one earned) before Julienne Broussard struck out five batters over the final 2 2/3 innings to seal the win.
Tonight's game against Phoenix College can be seen on NJCAA TV.