The University School of Jackson softball program has proven itself over the course of several years as a powerhouse in Divison II-A. This year is no different for the Lady Bruin team.
On Tuesday, the Lady Bruins hosted the Division II-A defending state champs, Tipton-Rosemark Academy, beating them by the score of 11-2 in what turned out to be a historic night for the Lady Bruin program.
The 11 runs scored by the Lady Bruins against the defending state champs were impressive alone, but it was one particular player, Anna Rice, who had the historic night.
Rice, who was all-state last year, finished the game 4-for-4 with nine RBI. She had a two-run double, a grand slam, an RBI single and a two-run homer to cap off her impressive game.
“It is an amazing feeling to have a game like this,” Rice said. “We faced Tipton-Rosemark six times last year.
“I have seen that particular pitcher quite a bit. She is a great pitcher who does a very good job of mixing her pitches and hitting her spots. I saw the ball very well tonight and was able to drive in the runs for our team.”
Rice started the game with a two-run double in the first inning to score the first runs of the game. That was only the beginning of her night at the plate.
“I’ve never had a kid that has had a game at the plate like that,” said USJ head coach Brian Dunn. “Anna started the season out very slow but has picked it up as of late.
“We’ve had a different player step up for us every game, and tonight Anna was that one. If Anna continues to play like this, we have a very good chance to do some great things in the tournament. I’m really proud of her accomplishment tonight. She’s a great kid who works really hard at what she does.”
USJ ace pitcher Ally McFarland also had a great game in the circle as well as she pitched the complete game. She finished the game giving up six hits and two runs while striking out eight against the defending state champs.
“Ally did a great job of competing tonight in the circle,” Dunn said. “She battled very hard as did the defense behind her.
“She got in a couple of jams, but we did an outstanding job of not letting it get away from us.”
The Lady Bruins won’t have long to celebrate the big win.
“We play Tipton-Rosemark again on Thursday,” Dunn said. “The scoreboard goes back to 0-0, and it’s a fresh game for both teams. They beat us three times last year, and we beat them three times last year.
“It goes to show that anyone can win this game between these two teams. They are a great team, and this is a huge win for us.”