LSU Eunice used more of its patented late-game magic in the NJCAA Tournament to score a 5-4 thriller over Mercer County in the opening round. The Bengals plated all five runs in the last two innings to mount the come from behind victory.
LSUE (47-18) fell in an early two-run hole after Tatum Marshall launched a two-out home run. Heather Zumo gave up two of her five hits in the first inning. The Vikings plated another pair of runs in the fifth thanks in large part to three Bengal errors.
Zumo (28-8) went the distance for LSUE, scattering five hits and four runs in seven innings. The freshman struck out seven batters to run her season tally to 173. She did also not issue a walk in the game.
The Bengals' best opportunity to score prior to their rally came in the second inning. Darrian Doucet and Sierra Gasca logged back-to-back singles but a first-and-third double steal gone wrong ended the frame.
LSUE started its comeback by loading the bases off a Mima Doucet hit by pitch and consecutive singles from Madison Monson and Emily Henderson. Ally Howard reached on an error at second base which allowed all three base runners to score. Haley Godeaux tied the game 4-4 with an RBI single in the next at-bat.
Zumo retired Mercer in order in the seventh to set up the dramatics in the bottom of the inning. Kelci Bodin delivered a pinch-hit single then advanced to second on a passed ball. The Bengals' top hitter, Mima Doucet, sent her dugout into a frenzy with a walk-off double to plate Bodin.
Sierra Gasca was the only Bengal to tally a multi-hit game, going a perfect 2-for-2 in LSUE's eight-hit offense.
Kaley Wise was tabbed with the loss for Mercer County after going the full six innings.
LSU Eunice moves on to second round action where it will face Cowley College. The six-seed defeated Madison College, 6-0, in the first round. First pitch from Traceway Park on Thursday is scheduled for 3:30 P.M. The game can be heard on-line with Randy Guillory on the call for the Bayou Sports Network.
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