Some Clarke County natives are headed to the softball tournament for the National Championship. The three players are graduates of Enterprise High School and have extended their softball career by attending Jones College and Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College.
So far, Jones College has managed to win the State Championship before facing off against MGCCC for the Region 23 Championship. After a hard-fought game, Jones gained the Region 23 Championship with a score of 9-3. Mississippi Gulf Coast came in second for the region. Now, both teams are excited to play in one final tournament for the National Championship.
“Our goal from the beginning has been to compete in a NJCAA World Series. This season has been full of hills and valleys, yet we have always overcome them. After having to face the reality of last year’s season being cut short, we knew we had some unfinished business to take care of,” stated Maycee Knight, player for Jones College. “It has been such an honor to play a small role and help with the success of my team. We are so excited to get to compete on a national level and are striving to come out on top. Go Bobcats!”
Although both teams are excited, Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College had some problems this year that have made them even more excited to be able to attend nationals.
“I am beyond excited to go to nationals. It is a huge honor to have the opportunity to play considering all that MGCCC softball has been through this year—from losing three coaches to gaining three more to continue our season,” expressed Hannah Herrington, player for MGCCC. “MGCCC has taught me many things, not only about softball but about life. I am extremely rewarded to get to head to nationals with such an amazing team.”
Sarah Brannon, who also plays for MGCCC, is also excited that the team has done so well in such a tough conference. She knows that their accomplishments this year really says a lot about their team as a whole.
“Our conference is extremely tough, and everybody’s goal is always a national championship. With Covid last year and a brand new coaching staff coming in mid-season this year, we didn’t even know if we would be given a chance to play,” explained Sarah. “The coaches we have now dropped everything to take a chance on us. That speaks volumes about them as coaches and us as a team. We’ve only known them for 11 weeks, but since then, we’ve grown so much and have been playing for each other and the love of the game. We’re excited and blessed to have this opportunity for the first time in seven years. This is one of those things you remember forever regardless of the outcome. Hail Perk!”
Although Tori Dew is equally as excited to be attending nationals, this is not her first time going. She graduated from Quitman High School and now serves as the Assistant Coach for Jones College where she works with the infield and hitters. She played for Jones College two years after graduating high school and was named the 2014 NJCAA player of the year. That same year, Jones went to nationals and came out as runner up.
With her new position as Assistant Coach, Tori is excited to train and watch the next generation as they work hard to take home the title of National Champions. She loves her team, and she wishes the best to all of the girls who will be playing.
“It’s all about the girls. They have worked hard to get here,” declared Coach Dew. “I wish all of these girls luck in the tournament.”
Opening ceremonies for the tournament took place on May 25, and it will last through May 28.