Home run changes momentum in Jena’s favor, Iowa falls 12-10 in 3A title game

Rodrick Anderson

SULPHUR — No. 4 Iowa looked to be in the driver’s seat after taking a five-run lead, but one swing changed everything as No. 3 Jena rallied to win 12-10 in the Class 3A championship game Saturday at the state softball tournament.

“Both teams were excellent hitters,” Iowa head coach Kenzie Singletary said. “I thought we hit the ball well.

“We came out early on with some big swings. Again, throughout the lineup, our lineup showed up again today. We just didn’t score quite enough runs as needed.”

Iowa (26-6) led 9-5 heading into the bottom of the fourth inning, but the Giants (25-8) quickly loaded the bases on two singles and a walk. After Hallie Paul hit an RBI single, Tori Shirley smoked a 0-1 pitch over the fence in center field to tie the score at 9-9.

“I think we started to get a little tired there,” Singletary said. “That changed the momentum for (Jena).

“I think our girls kind of felt defeated at that point because we hadn’t given up any comparable to that hit right there all year.”

Janasia Jones, the 3A title game’s most outstanding player, put the finishing touches on the Giants’ rally with her second home run of the game in the fifth inning, a two-run shot that gave Jena its first lead, 11-10.

The teams combined for six home runs and 20 hits. The 22 total runs tied for the fourth-most in a championship game in Louisiana High School Athletic Association softball history.

“Our goal at the beginning of the season was to make it to state,” Singletary said. “We lost in the first round two years ago and your expectation have to be real.

“We didn’t expect to win a state championship, however, we made it here. The girls have nothing to hang their heads about. It is the first trophy in the school’s history for softball. We are making history today and look forward to building on it.”

Iowa reached the final for the first time in program history, something that senior right fielder Karagan Howard is proud of.

“It hurts knowing that we worked our butts off for five years to get to Sulphur,” Howard said. “It is an accomplishment.

“As a senior at the beginning of the season, I wanted my last game to be in Sulphur, and we did that. I am proud of where our team came (from). It just sucks that we didn’t get that trophy, but I am proud of our journey.”

The Yellow Jackets broke a 4-4 tie with a five-run fourth inning highlighted by a three-run home run by Kylie Boudreaux and RBI hits by Ana Alexander and Lesley Lebleu.

Iowa scored two runs in the opening frame on a double by Lesley Lebleu and went up 4-2 on a leadoff solo home run by Kamryn Broussard in the third.

After scoring 10 runs through the first five innings, Jena relief pitcher Cayla Decker held the Yellow Jackets scores less over the final two innings.

For a second consecutive game, Iowa didn’t strike out, outhitting the Giants 11-9. Alexander led Iowa at the plate, going 4-for-5 with two RBIs and three runs. Lebleu went 3-for-4 with three RBIs and Kamryn Broussard was 2-for-4 with three runs and an RBI.””

Iowa’s Kylie Boudreaux sends a ball over the fence for a home run against Jena during the Class 3A state championship game Saturday at North Frasch Park in Sulphur.

Kirk Meche / Special to the American Press

SportsPlus

Local News

Firefighter training now available for Vernon students

Local News

A rainy-day groundbreaking for the new McNeese Student Union building

Local News

Harris tells Wisconsin crowd election will be ‘a choice between freedom and chaos’

Crime

7/22: Calcasieu Parish Sheriff announces arrest list

life

Back-to-school movie night, supply drive set for Friday

Local News

Johnson on Secret Service director’s resignation: ‘Happy to see she heeded our calls’

Local News

Secret Service director resigns after assassination attempt on Donald Trump

McNeese Sports

Things to watch at Cowboy camp

Local News

Johnson, Jeffries announce bipartisan task force to investigate assassination attempt

Local News

Louisiana Democrats thank Biden, support Harris as new nominee

Local News

Construction on 46-unit Mid-City Lofts begins next month

Local News

Daily showers, thunderstorms expected this week

Crime

7/22: Calcasieu Parish Sheriff announces arrest list

McNeese Sports

New-look Cowboys picked sixth

Local News

Harris praises Biden’s ‘unmatched’ legacy, looks to lock up the Democratic nomination

Business

Tellurian to be acquired by Woodside Energy Group in $900M all-cash payment

Crime

LSU cornerback arrested on accusation of video voyeurism, authorities say

Local News

Secret Service acknowledges denying some past requests by Trump’s campaign for tighter security

Local News

Biden wants to pass baton to Kamala Harris

Local News

BREAKING: Biden drops out of race

Local News

Secret Service chief noted ‘zero fail mission,’ facing calls to resign

Local News

Students explore possible careers in athletic training

Jim Beam

Jim Beam column:Constitution plan resurrected

high-school Sports

New concession stand added to plans for football stadium