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Bowling Green softball advances to state tourney

Bowling Green’s softball team advanced to the MAIS Class AA State Tournament Monday by finishing in the top four of the South State Tournament at Amite School Center in Liberty, Miss.

The Lady Buccaneers, who split the four games, got off to a rough start in Saturday’s opener. Bowling Green lost to District 5AA’s top seed Central Hinds, 10-0, in six innings.

The Lady Bucs were no hit.

Coach Pat King said the 10 runs were a combination of Central Hinds hitting the ball well and Bowling Green making several errors.

That put the team in the loser’s bracket, but they continued to battle, winning the next two.

They rebounded with a 5-1 win over Centreville.

Kristina Jerrell recorded a pair of hits, while Madison LaSalle posted a pair of hits, including a two-run double. Cailee Fruge logged two hits and an RBI. Fruge, who pitched every inning of every game in the tournament, walked nobody and the Lady Bucs played a flawless game defensively.

In Monday’s action, Bowling Green blanked Park Place, 4-0.

King said the defense was unbelievable, as the team made no errors.

McKinley Seal turned an unassisted double play, and King said she made several other good defensive plays.

Outfielder Jerrell ended a Park Place rally in the fourth. Park Place had runners on second and third with two outs and the Lady Bucs up 2-0. A ball was hit and Jerrell made a diving catch to end the frame. Jerrell also added an insurance run in the seventh with an RBI single. Mason Edwards hit a two-run inside-the-park homer.

Fruge was solid once again, allowing three hits with five strikeouts and no walks. Bowling Green was eliminated from the tournament with a 9-5 loss to Simpson after the Lady Bucs took a 5-1 lead in the second, despite being down, 1-0, through one inning.

King said it was a similar game to the opener defensively.

“We played two very solid fundamental games and two rough non-fundamental games,” King said. “We played two games where we stayed ahead of batters, didn’t walk people, and we won those, but we also had two games where we had some errors, we fell behind some batters, had good at bats, and we lost those two.”

In the final contest, Fruge had a hit and a walk, while Jerrell and Allie McCain both tallied a hit for the Lady Bucs.

Bowling Green’s next game is Saturday at the state tournament when they play the North AA top seeded team Bayou Academy at 9 a.m. in Brandon, Miss.