The Jefferson Blue Jays (6-13) opened their postseason with a district playoff matchup against the Louisiana Bulldogs (0-20). The Blue Jays took the lead in the first inning and didn’t look back, taking an 11-3 win.
The Blue Jays entered Tuesday night’s playoff opener struggling, having lost four games in a row and only had one win in their last 13 games. The Blue Jays’ opponent, the Louisiana Bulldogs, have also struggled, having not yet won a game in 20 attempts.
The pitching duties for the Blue Jays were in the hands of senior Megan Payne. Payne entered Tuesday night’s game leading the team in innings pitched with 46 2/3 innings and in ERA with a mark of 4.50.
The Blue Jays were quick to strike in the bottom of the first, opening the scoring with an RBI triple from Morgan Figliolo that brought home Maggie Brunke. It wasn’t long before Figliolo was driven home when Catryn Cattoor singled to right field. Cattoor advanced to third on an error before Cami Menke singled to center field to bring her home and make the score 3-0.
Jefferson was able to extend its advantage even further in the bottom of the second inning. Brunke singled with two outs and was brought home with an error off the bat of Figliolo. Cattoor then hit a two-run homer to bump the score to 6-0.
The Blue Jays continued to keep the Bulldogs scoreless thanks to Payne’s outstanding performance, but after three innings, she was replaced by Menke. Payne finished the game giving up one hit, no runs, no walks and striking out five in an excellent outing.
Menke continued to keep the Bulldogs off the board until the top of the fifth inning when an RBI single gave them their first run of the game. In the bottom of the fifth, the Blue Jays would strike right back, getting a run of their own thanks to an RBI double from Paige Wagner.
The score now 7-1, the Bulldogs again put more runs on the board in the top of the sixth. An error brought home one run, and a single later in the inning brought home a second.
The Blue Jays were again quick to strike back in the bottom half of the inning. Jefferson put up its highest-scoring inning yet, snagging four runs thanks to RBIs from Menke, Brittany Bittick, Chloe Vaughn and Wagner.
The Bulldogs didn’t have an answer, posting a scoreless seventh inning and taking an 11-3 loss.
Menke got the win for the Blue Jays after an impressive relief performance from the Junior. Menke went four innings giving up five hits, three runs (one earned), no walks and struck out three. Menke is now 3-4 on the season with a 6.20 ERA and a WHIP of 2.04.
The Blue Jays put together a hitting clinic Tuesday night, stringing together 17 total hits as a team. One of the best individual performers on the night was from the catcher Cattoor, who went 3-3 with three RBIs, a home run, and a hit by pitch.
Another excellent performance came from shortstop Figliolo, going 3-4 with three runs scored, an RBI and a triple.
Other notable Blue Jayswho put up big numbers were Wagner, who went 2-4 with two RBIs and a double and Bittick, who fiinshed 2-4 with two runs scored and double.
With the win, the Blue Jays advance to the district playoffs’ semi-final round, where they will face St. Pius X (10-3) on Wednesday night for a chance to play for the District 2 Class-Four championship.