LUFKIN, TX -- Sophomore outfielder Ryann Jones drove in all three runs, including an RBI single in the bottom of the seventh inning, to lift the sixth-ranked Blinn College softball team to a 3-2 victory over Bossier Parish in the first round of the Region XIV Softball Tournament here Thursday night.
Bossier Parish, the No. 3 seed out of the East Zone, scored two first-inning runs to hold the early advantage over the defending Region XIV champion Buccaneers. But Federwisch would hold Bossier Parish scoreless the rest of the way, and the offense answered in the bottom of the fifth, tying the score on Jones’ two-run double into the right-field gap.
“She was ready to go today,” Blinn coach Rick Church said.
The score would remain tied until the seventh, when sophomore outfielder Michelle Svehla reached on a fielder’s choice and advanced to second on a single by Brittney Krchnak. Svehla scored on Jones’ game-winning RBI single.
Just moments before the Buccaneers came up in the bottom of the seventh, freshman shortstop Kristina Riley made a diving stop on a sharply-hit ground ball, then threw out the base runner caught between second and third.
“If we don’t make that play, they take the lead,” Church said.
Sophomore Kaci Federwisch (23-6) threw the complete game for Blinn. On Wednesday night, Federwisch was named the Region XIV Player of the Year after posting a 1.41 ERA and 120 strikeouts in 188 1/3 regular-season innings. She walked just 16 batters over that span.
“She had a good ratio last year too, but this year she’s just been phenomenal,” Church said. “You have to earn your way on against her.”
Thomasina Garza, Kristina Davila and Leandra Maly were also named first-team all-region on Wednesday, and Tiffani McKnight earned second-team honors. Blinn had three of the top four vote getters in the region.
The Buccaneers are now 46-8 on the season and will play Alvin in the second round of the tournament at 5:30 p.m. Friday. Alvin is coming off a 6-2 first-round victory over Navarro College, as all four South Zone teams defeated their East Zone foes. Galveston beat Texarkana 6-0 and San Jacinto defeated Trinity Valley 3-0.
Blinn won all four of its games at last season’s Region XIV Tournament, then placed fourth at the NJCAA National Championships.