KENNESAW, Ga. – The Jacksonville State softball team jumped on Kennesaw State early on Tuesday and cruised to an 11-1 mercy-rule win at KSU's Bailey Park.
The Gamecocks (7-4) showed little rust after an eight-day break since their last game, scoring a season-high 11 runs and earning their second mercy-rule victory of the season. The game snapped a three-game winning streak for an Owls (10-5) team that had won six of its last seven coming in.
Sophomore Kelci Johnston reached base all four times she stepped in the box, going 3-for-3 with a walk, two runs scored and two RBI to lead the JSU offensive attack. Juniors Kaycee Crow and Kristin Graham each drove in three runs, while junior Abbey Stepp had two RBI.
Freshman Tiffany Harbin (4-2) earned her fourth win in her last four starts in holding the Owls to a run on six hits in five innings of work. The Hazel Green, Ala., native recorded a strike out in her final nine outs recorded.
KSU ace Jessica Cross (5-2) suffered the loss in the circle for the Owls, surrendering six runs on three hits and four walks in just two innings of work.
Graham got the Gamecocks on the board early, belting her second home run in a JSU uniform. The three-run shot cleared the wall in left just inside the foul pole and scored Johnston and Kaycee Crow to give the Gamecocks a 3-0 lead.
JSU broke the game open in the third, when the Gamecocks sent 11 batters to the plate and got six runs across. Stepp drove in the first and last run of the frame, thanks to a leadoff home run and sac fly to center in her final at bat.
In between Stepp's two RBI, Tess Echols drew a bases loaded walk, Johnston singled in one and Kaycee Crow drove in two on a double to left center.
Two more came across in the fourth, thanks to two costly KSU errors. Amanda Crow led off the inning with a double to left center and reached third on a throwing error by third baseman Ashlee Burkett. Johnston followed with a single to score Crow, and then Kaycee Crow drove in Johnston with a sac fly to center.
The Owls did get one across in the fourth on a Jensen Hackett single. Burkett led KSU at the plate with a 2-for-3 night.
The Gamecocks will return to the Atlanta area on Friday, when they begin the three-day Georgia Tech Buzz Classic at the Twin Creeks Softball Complex in Woodstock, Ga. JSU will open play at noon CT against Akron before closing the day against the host Yellow Jackets at 5 p.m. CT.