JESUP – There was a short rain delay, but the Jesup varsity softball team opened the floodgates on offense as they defeated Woodward-Granger 14-1 in the second round of the Class 2A Region 1 game on Wednesday.
“The first one is always the big win when you get to the tournament,” Elson said. “They had a 1-0 record we had a 0-0 record. I’ve been doing this long enough to know if the kids don’t come ready to play you can get snakebit.”
J-Hawks pitcher Rhianna Bigwood (20-6) held Woodward-Granger in check as she limited them to two hits, a walk and an earned run. She had two strikeouts and also hit a batter.
Elson said Bigwood had a couple of hiccups but pitched well.
“She hit a batter and then you put speed on,” Elson said. “If you do that against a really good team, that speed will create havoc. If you look down the road, you are not going to have games where you are going to score this many runs. You are probably going to be in a one-run game. Those are little things that you have to make sure that keep to a minimum or don’t let it hurt us.”
Jesup scored three runs in the first inning, with center fielder Zoe Miller, Bigwood and third baseman Jenna Jensen scoring runs to take an early lead as they batted around the order.
In the second inning, Miller led off with a triple and was driven in on a sacrifice from Bigwood. First baseman Kristin Sadler then hit a solo home run to give the J-Hawks a 5-0 lead after two innings.
Woodward-Granger scored their only run in the third inning when Chloe Houge singled, stole second base and scored on a throwing error by Jesup. There was a brief rain delay during the top of the third, but play resumed after 15 minutes.
Jesup scored five runs in the third inning, that included a two-RBI double from Bigwood, a RBI double from Jenna Jensen, an RBI triple from Sadler and a sac fly RBI from shortstop Alexus Jensen.
The J-Hawks added four more runs in the fourth inning to seal their victory, which included an RBI single from Miller, an RBI single from Bigwood and another RBI double from Jenna Jensen.
Woodward-Granger pitcher Rian Jamison (2-9) started the game and recorded no strikeouts, with their team committing three errors behind her.
Jesup combined for 14 hits, four walks and 14 runs in their win. Bigwood had three hits, including two doubles. Jenna Jensen had three hits and two runs. Sadler had a home run and a triple.
“I think the key tonight is we actually executed some things that we practiced last night that I didn’t think we were executing as well as we could,” Elson said. “Leaving runners on third base when we need to hit the ball to the right side. We just kind of reviewed different ways on how to score people. Sac fly, ground ball to the right side, bunts all those things that will score runs.”
The Class 2A No. 3 ranked J-Hawks are now 30-9 for the season after winning their second-round game. They will host South Hamilton on Friday at 14-1 in the third round of the Class 2A Region 1 bracket.