Jackson County battled through a demanding region tournament — finishing third — and its reward is a demanding first-round state playoff series.
The Panthers (15-9-1) will take on Region 6-AAA No. 2 seed Calhoun on the road. A doubleheader is slated for today (Oct. 9, 5 p.m.), with a third-game set for Thursday (Oct. 10, TBA.), if needed.
The Yellow Jackets (16-12) are a traditional state powerhouse, winning four state titles (2013, 2014, 2015, 2017) over five seasons earlier this decade.
“Calhoun is a good team, but we are too, and I think we match up well against them,” first-year coach Kristin Croteau said. “If we take care of the little things and make all the routine plays, we will be there in the end. We have to stay focused and play our game. The girls will be ready and we look forward to a good match up against Calhoun.”
In the region tournament, Jackson County left 12 runners on base in a 10-2 elimination-game loss to Jefferson Thursday (Oct. 3) at Panther Field. One of the biggest missed opportunities came in the fifth inning when Jackson County loaded the bases with no outs in the fifth inning but came up empty.
“We didn’t take advantage of the opportunities that we had on Thursday,” Croteau said. “Ultimately, we beat ourselves Thursday. Jefferson is a good team, and if you miss your opportunities they will make it hurt.”
Abigail Allen and Abby Harrell both went 2-for-3 in the loss. Peri Foster was 1-for-4 with an RBI.
Jackson County opened the region tournament last Tuesday (Oct. 1) with a 5-4 win over Morgan County. Maggie Knox provided the game-winning hit in the bottom of the seventh inning in that victory. The Panthers then lost to eventual region-champion Franklin County 13-7 later that evening, despite a pair of home runs from Sara Beth Allen.