Jacksonville's Fightin' Maiden softball team is about a whisker away from earning what would be a school-first playoff appearance, after the Maidens carved out a 9-2 win over Nacogdoches at Lady Dragon Softball Field Tuesday night.
Jacksonville is now 3-4 in District 16-4A play and is two games in front of fifth-place Nacogdoches (1-6), with three regular season games left on the docket.
The Maidens have Whitehouse, John Tyler and Lindale remaining and a win in any of those games, regardless of what happens with Nacogdoches, would give Jacksonville the fourth, and final, playoff spot out of the loop.
“Our girls came out (Tuesday) and did exactly what they needed to do to put themselves in a playoff position,” Jacksonville head softball coach, Amber Danner-Kirk, said following the game. They have come out and worked hard against everyone that we have played and I am very proud of them. They are earning their wins; the are not expecting it.”
The Fightin' Maidens got after the Lady Dragons early, and after each team had scored two runs, respectively, in the opening inning Jacksonville erupted for a four-run second frame to gain the upper hand once and for all.
With one out, Hannah Holcomb reached base on an infield single and went to second on a Lady Dragon error — Nacogdoches made nine gaffes in the first two innings, with Jacksonville making the home team pay for its mistakes.
Holcomb then stole third and came in to score on a passed ball.
Nicole Robinson reached on a fielder's choice and swiped second to move into scoring position.
Robinson scored following a Tasheena Canady triple into the gap in right field, which also plated Jordane Mallard, who had got aboard on an error.
Canady had a big night offensively by going two for three with two RBI, two runs scored and a dramatic steal of home plate in the sixth inning when Jacksonville added three insurance runs.