MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Jacksonville State struck early and often to leave no doubt in a 13-1 road victory at Alabama State on Wednesday evening, bringing head coach Jana McGinnis her 1,000th career win at the helm of the Red and White.
Jax State (16-9) increased its offensive runs through each of the first four innings to put ASU (15-13) away quickly in the non-conference mid-week matchup.
Although not at home, the schedule worked out where No. 1,000 came just a few hours from campus, allowing family and friends to be able to catch the milestone moment. With the win, McGinnis becomes just the 12th active Division I coach with 1,000 wins. She's one of only three head coaches to win their games all at the same school joining Oklahoma's Patty Gasso and USC-Upstate's Chris Hawkins.
Preceding the postgame celebrations, McGinnis' team went to work just as it had all those times before leading up to 1,000. Freshman Jaliyah Holmes improved to 7-3 in the circle continuing her strong campaign. The Sharpsburg, Ga., product, gave the home Hornets few chances striking out 10 of her 14 batters faced. With the margin stretched to 13-0 by the fifth innings, fellow freshman Jordan Eslinger came in to toss the final three outs.
💦💦GAMECOCKS WIN‼️💦💦— Jax State Softball (@JaxStateSB) March 23, 2023
Head Coach Jana McGinnis gets the shower after her 1,000th win for Jax State! pic.twitter.com/zqV7oJu6KQ
Freshman Linley Tubbs sent the first of 13 runs across the plate in the top of the first on a swinging bunt that slowly made its way back to the pitch allowing Emma Jones to race home in time from third. Jones came back up in the second inning to drive in a pair of runs on a 2-run double.
Nearly shut down in the third, a third strike against Abbi Perkins was eventually negated after a length review when the JSU challenged the Hornets' official lineup, which included the wrong number for the catcher. The catcher's putout on the strikeout was ruled illegal, and with new life back in the box, Perkins scorched a shot down the third base line to drive in the first of four more runs.
Combined, Jax State racked up 13 hits equal to its runs scored. The historic night was all but cemented when Ashley Phillips drove in two more runs on double, followed in the fourth by a three-run homer by Holly Stewart.
JSU returns to ASUN Conference play on the road this weekend visiting Bellarmine. The Gamecocks were originally scheduled to play Friday, Saturday and Sunday, but now will start begin play intil at least Saturday due to Louisville weather.
WCWS: 2023 WCWS schedule | How it works | Future dates