The Jackson Lady Devils punched their ticket to the Sweet 15 of the state AAA softball playoffs on Oct. 13, defeating the Thomson Lady Bulldogs in two straight games, 3-0, and 14-0.
Jackson will host the Ringgold Lady Tigers on Wednesday, Oct. 20, with game times at 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. The Lady Tigers defeated their first round opponent, Franklin County, on Oct. 13 in two straight games, 3-1, and 8-5.
Lady Devils 3
Lady Bulldogs 0
In their first game Wednesday, Jackson got all the runs it would need on a 3rd inning three-run homerun by Mackenzie North, with Katelyn Flanders dominating Thomson on the mound. Flanders recorded 11 strikeouts while limiting the Lady Bulldogs to just 3 hits (all singles), and issuing 0 walks.
The Lady Devils defense also kept Thomson at bay, with the highlight being a double play in the top of the 5th inning to end the Lady Bulldogs’ biggest threat.
Flanders set Thomson down in order in the 1st inning with 3 K’s. In the bottom of the first, Macey Batchelor singled to left, stole second and advanced to third on a groundout by North, but was left stranded when the next batter struck out.
Flanders struck out 2 of 3 in the 2nd inning with a grounder to Layla Watts at third sandwiched between the K’s. In the bottom of the inning, Watts was hit by a pitch and took first, then stole second, but was stranded by another strikeout.
Thomson’s leadoff batter got their first hit in the top of the 3rd, but the next three batters struck out, struck out, and popped out. In the bottom of the 3rd with one out, Macey Batchelor turned a single into left into a double when the left fielder bobbled the ball. Batchelor advanced to third on a single to center by Memphis Sweat that left runners on the corners. But North cleared the bases with a three-run homerun over the right centerfield fence. With two outs, Flanders tried to keep the runs coming with a double to center, but was stranded when the next batter popped out.
Neither side reached base in the 4th inning, with Flanders adding another K to her total.
In the top of the 5th, Thomson got its second single of the game. But the next batter grounded to Sham Dupree at second. She turned and tossed the ball to shortstop Macey Batchelor, who tapped second for the force then threw to North at first to complete the double play for the first two outs, and the next batter struck out.
Flanders retired the Lady Bulldogs in order in the top of the 6th with two K’s and a grounder back to Flanders. In the bottom half with one out, Flanders recorded her second double of the game, then Madison Batchelor took first after being hit by a pitch, but they were stranded when the next two batters flew out and struck out.
In the top of the 7th, Thomson got its third and final single, but two infield pop ups and a fly out to right ended the game.
At the plate, North was 1-3 with a homerun and 3 RBI, Flanders was 2-3 with 2 doubles, Macey Batchelor was 2-3 with a single and a double, and Sweat was 1-3 with a single.
Lady Devils 14
Lady Bulldogs 0
Jackson’s bats came alive in the second game as they routed Thomson 14-0 to sweep the series and move into the second round of the state playoffs.