May 5, 2014 5:26 PM by LSU Eunice Sports Information
The LSU Eunice softball team now knows the location and its opponent in the NJCAA Region 23 Tournament set for May 8-10, as Jones County Junior College in Ellisville, MS will be the host site for the four-team regional.
In addition to LSU Eunice, Jones County Junior College, Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College and Pearl River Community College will vie for one of the region's two bids to the NJCAA Division II National Tournament, held May 14-17 in Clinton, Mississippi.
The Lady Bengals head into Ellisville as the three-time defending Region 23 Tournament champions.
"I am just excited to get back on the field again. It is a very strong field and should be an exciting tournament. I hope all of the hard work our team has put in pays off and we play up to our ability and what we are capable of this weekend," head coach Andy Lee said.
The Lady Bengals, 55-2 and the No. 1 team in the country, will face Mississippi Gulf Coast (35-18) in their opening round game at 4 p.m. on Thursday in the opening game of the tournament.
Jones County (46-2, No. 2 in the country) will meet Pearl River (27-18) in the other opening round game at 7 p.m. on Thursday.
On Friday, the two winners of Thursday's games will square off at 1 p.m. (Game 3), followed by the losers in a 3 p.m. game (Game 4). The loser of Game 3 meets the winner of Game 4 at 5 p.m. (Game 5) in an elimination contest Friday night.
The championship game is slated for a 1 p.m. start on Saturday, while the if necessary game would follow.
LSU Eunice and Pearl River met in a doubleheader in Eunice back on Feb. 18, with the Lady Bengals winning both games. It is the only meeting LSU Eunice has had this season with the three regional opponents.
The Lady Bengals faced off with all three teams in last year's regional tournament, beating Mississippi Gulf Coast 10-0 and knocking off Pearl River 8-0.
LSU Eunice and Jones County met five times in postseason play last year in the regional and national tournament, with Jones County beating the Lady Bengals 5-4 to send them into the loser's bracket of the regional before LSU Eunice beat Jones twice (6-0, 10-4) as they won three games in the regional's final day.
The Lady Bengals went on to knock Jones County out of the national tournament by an 8-2 score in the third round en route to winning the 2013 NJCAA National Championship.
The 2014 NJCAA Region 23 Tournament will take place at Community Bank Park, one of the premier softball facilities in the southeast that opened in 2011. Admission is $5 each day of the tournament.
LSU Eunice games will be available on Bengal All-Access and KVPI radio.
Fans can keep up with the Lady Bengals and the Region 23 Tournament on Facebook (facebook.com/LSUEuniceSoftball) and on Twitter (@LSUE_Athletics) in addition to online at www.lsuebengals.net.
Region 23 Tournament
Ellisville, Mississippi (Jones County Junior College)
Game 1, LSU-Eunice (55-2) vs. Mississippi Gulf Coast (35-18), 4 p.m.
Game 2, Jones County (46-2) vs. Pearl River (27-18), 6 p.m.
Game 3, Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2, 1 p.m.
Game 4, Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2, 3 p.m.
Game 5, Loser Game 3 vs. Winner Game 4, 5 p.m.
Game 6, Winner Game 3 vs. Winner Game 5, 1 p.m.
Game 7, If necessary