Tacquard’s no-hitter sends Bucs to regional title game
Blinn playing Sunday for shot at fourth consecutive trip to nationals
LUFKIN, Texas – Sophomore pitcher Jocelyn Tacquard threw a no-hitter to put the sixth-ranked Blinn College softball team one win away from the Region XIV Tournament and a trip to the national championships.
Tacquard walked the first batter she faced in Saturday night’s 3-0 victory over the Galveston Whitecaps, but she refused to allow a base runner the rest of the way to send the Buccaneers to the Region XIV Tournament championship game. Tacquard, who was unavailable to pitch most of the season due to injury, improved to 5-1 with the win.
“We told her she got win number cinco on Cinco de Mayo,” Blinn (48-8) coach Rick Church said.
The winner of Saturday night’s game between Texarkana and San Jacinto will play Galveston at 10 a.m. Sunday. Blinn will play the winner of that game at 12:30 p.m. Should the Buccaneers suffer their first loss of the tournament, the teams would meet again at 3 p.m., with the winner claiming the Region XIV championship.
Tacquard, a product of Santa Fe High School, walked the leadoff batter on four pitches before settling into a groove the rest of the way.
“I think she was a little jacked up, but she settled down and did a real good job of mixing up all her pitches,” Church said. “Before you knew it the game was over and they didn’t have any hits.”
The game remained scoreless until the bottom of the third, when sophomore left fielder Ryann Jones singled and Tiffani McKnight hit a two-run blast that slid just inside the right-field foul pole.
“There was no doubt,” Church said. “It was just a matter of whether it stayed fair.”
In the fourth, Jones doubled and scored on a single by Leandra Maly. Maly finished the game 2-for-4. Jones, who drove in the game-winning run in the Bucs’ opening-round victory over Bossier Parish, also had two hits on the day as the Buccaneers finished with 11.
“Ryann’s having a really good tournament,” Church said. “She’s really been focused.”
With a win Sunday, the Buccaneers can earn the team’s fourth consecutive trip to the national tournament, a program record. The Buccaneers placed fourth at the tournament last season.
For more information on Blinn softball, visit www.buccaneersports.com.