Lady Cardinals stay close to home for sectionals

By Doug Gorman

The Jonesboro High School softball team won't have to travel too far to open play in the Class AAAA state sectionals on Friday night.

Just down the road as a matter of fact, as the north half of the event takes place at Lovejoy Park.

The Lady Cardinals earned one of the sectional's four top seeds by winning the Region 5-AAAA tournament last week. Jonesboro, which went undefeated in region play, opens tournament action Friday afternoon at 4 p.m. against Ridgeland.

A victory moves them into a winner's bracket game at 8 p.m. against the winner between North Forsyth and Loganville.

The double-elimination event continues through Saturday with the top four finishers in the tournament earning a spot in the Elite 8 tournament next weekend in Columbus.

Jonesboro comes into the double-elimination event fresh off its first-ever region title. The Lady Cardinals cruised through region play behind the pitching of junior Heather Lowry.

"She has done a great job for us," said head coach Jeanine Conkle. "But I can't talk about her without talking about (catcher) Rachel Nutter. The two players feed off of each other. They are good friends and do a lot of things off the diamond."

A loss in the first game sends the Lady Cardinals into a loser's bracket contest at 10 a.m. Saturday.

The Lady Cardinals are attempting to make it to the Elite 8 for the first time in school history.