POPLARVILLE, Miss. (Press Release) – Kelci Bodin completed a dramatic comeback for No. 1 LSU Eunice with an extra inning walk-off home run to upend Itawamba CC, 5-2, in the Region 23 Tournament on the campus of Pearl River CC. The Bengals (46-6) thriller in nine innings not only sets up an appearance in the Region 23 Championship, but clinches a berth in next week’s NJCAA Division II National Tournament.
The trip to the National Tournament will be LSUE’s fourth straight appearance, and the program’s ninth under head coach Andy Lee.
Bodin belted her ninth home run of the season after LSUE put the first two batters on with walks. The home run gave LSUE its first and only lead of the game.
The walk-off home run was just the latest twist in a roller coaster of an afternoon. LSU Eunice forced extra innings after Madison Monson delivered a heart stopping two-out solo home run in the bottom of the seventh, her team’s best 11th of the season. The home runs were the lone bright spot of the day after being held in check for only six hits by an Itawamba pitching staff that had not allowed a run in its previous three games.
Itawamba was first to strike with a run in the third inning off one of two Bengal errors. LSUE would answer an inning later with Sara Tate’s RBI single.
The Indians would regain the lead in the fifth inning off a bunt and a LSUE throwing error, but would manage just two hits the remainder of the game.
Heather Zumo delivered a sterling effort in relief of starter Jensen Howell, throwing the final 6.1 innings. Zumo (W, 18-2) gave up one unearned run off four hits while not issuing a walk. The sophomore struck out five ICC batters.
Offensively, Kelci Bodin and Sara Tate enjoyed two-hit games, while Tate also stole two bases.
LSUE will now await the winner of Itawamba and either Copiah-Lincoln or Pearl River in tomorrow’s Region 23 Championship. First pitch of the title tilt is scheduled for 2:00PM, with a possible “if necessary” game to follow. The Bengals are hoping to clinch the program’s fifth Region 23 Championship.