Photo/James Pugh

There was no need for a doubleheader in Soso Saturday afternoon. 

After beating Long Beach 8-6 in Game 1 of their first-round Class 5A playoff series Friday night, West Jones softball avoided a doubleheader Saturday afternoon with a 9-6 win over the Lady Bearcats. The Lady Mustangs advance to round two of the MHSAA playoffs set to begin Tuesday night. 

Click on the link to see video highlights and a post-game interview with West Jones head coach Corey Tolbert:

Tolbert said the first-round win was special. West Jones softball has never advanced beyond the first-round since joining 5A in 2009 – that was until Saturday afternoon. Long Beach swept West Jones in round one of the playoffs last season. 

Just as it did Friday night, West Jones jumped on top first. Two runs crossed home plate in the bottom of the first. More Lady Mustang runs were added in the second, third, fourth and fifth innings. Long Beach was only able to keep West Jones scoreless in the sixth.



Four West Jones players – Natalie Allgood, Mattie Hodge, Madi Waters and Kallie Jordan – finished with multiple hits. Allgood, Hodge and Jordan aided their multiple hit afternoon with an RBI. Anna Margaret Kilgore, Adison Mauldin and Natalie Morgan also had base hits. 

West Jones led by seven before Long Beach answer with runs of its own. Two runs in the fourth were followed by a run the fifth. The Lady Bearcats rallied with three runs in the seventh but was held short after a play at third base resulted in the third out. 

Sophomore pitcher Mattie Hodge tossed the full length of the game, allowing three earned runs on eight Lady Bearcat hits. She struck out three and walked three in her 12th pitching appearance of the season according to MaxPreps.

Toot Ladner took the loss for Long Beach. Ladner pitched the game’s entirety, allowing five earned runs on 11 West Jones hits. 

Long Beach committed five errors on the afternoon, compared to two by West Jones.

West Jones, 13-11 on the season, will face Pearl River Central on the road in Game 1 on Tuesday night. First pitch is slated for 6 p.m.