By KEVIN HARRIS
NORTH VERNON – The Jeffersonville Red Devils suffered a heartbreaking loss in the Hoosier Hills Conference Tournament semifinals Wednesday night at Jennings County.
Senior Mackenzie Byram smacked a game-winning two-run home run in the bottom of the seventh inning to give the Panthers a 7-5 victory over Jeff.
The Red Devils (8-11) will visit Seymour (11-4) in the third-place game of the tourney at 5:30 p.m. Friday. The Panthers (14-4) will travel to Floyd Central (19-7) at 6 p.m. Friday for the HHC Tournament championship game.
Jennings County pulled out to a 4-0 lead against Jeff after two innings, scoring one in the bottom of the first and three in the second.
But the Devils bounced back. They plated three runs in the top of the fifth to pull within 4-3. Following the Panthers’ one run in the bottom of the sixth to go up 5-3, Jeff scored twice in the top of the seventh to tie the game at five.
Red Devil sophomore Lizzy Coons went 2-for-2 with a run scored, while teammate Kaylee Strong was 2-for-3 with a run scored. Jeff junior Lindsey Nelson smacked a home run and scored two runs. Red Devil freshman Nan Garcia had two RBIs.
Jeff senior Jennah Tincher was the losing pitcher. In 4 1/3 innings, Tincher yielded three runs (all earned) on five hits.
Note: The time for the Red Devils’ make-up game Saturday at Scottsburg will be at noon.
JENNINGS COUNTY 7, JEFFERSONVILLE 5
Jeff 000 030 2-5 8 2
Jennings Co. 130 001 2-7 10 1
L – Jennah Tincher (5-6). HR – Lindsey Nelson (Jeff), Mackenzie Byram (JC).
Records – Jeff 8-11, Jennings County 14-4.