|Lonoke's Gracie Cole heads toward first base during the 4A-2 District Tournament last week. Cole scored one of Lonoke's three runs in the Lady Jackrabbits' win over Pocahontas on Friday. (Photo by Mark Buffalo)|
By Mark Buffalo
POCAHONTAS — The Lonoke Lady Jackrabbits are going back to the state tournament for the first time in 11 seasons.
The Lady Jackrabbits beat host Pocahontas 3-0 in the first round of the Class 4A East Region tournament Friday. With the win, Lonoke qualifies for the state tournament, which starts next Thursday at Mena. Lonoke's last appearance came in 2004 under former coach Daryl Fimple.
The Lady Jackrabbits will play Heber Springs in the semifinals on Saturday at noon. Heber Springs beat Lonoke 7-5 in the only matchup between the two teams March 17.
In the win over Pocahontas, Lonoke pitcher Charley Jo Chesney allowed only three hits and no walks in seven innings of work. She struck out six Lady Redskin batters.
Lonoke (13-5) took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first. Jasalyn Truelove hit an inside-the-park home run.
Lonoke added to its lead in the top of the third. Gracie Cole walked and scored on a double by Chesney. Lonoke's final run came in the seventh. Amanda Sexton walked and scored on a single by Candace James.
Lonoke had six hits in the victory. Truelove had three. Chesney, Jarrelyn McCall and James had one hit each.