Jenkins leads Lady Blazers to region
By Chris Shields
But that has been exactly what Lady Blazer freshman Jaclyn Jenkins has done all season.
Whether it has been in the circle or at the plate, Jenkins has shown talent, leadership, and composure far beyond her age.
Throughout the district tournament, Jenkins once again surprised the rest of the conference, guiding the Lady Blazers to the semifinals, then the championship, and eventually to the region, capturing the tournament MVP in the process.
Boone’s success in the region and perhaps at state will be contingent on Jenkins, one of their youngest players.
And if the season thus far has been any indication, Jenkins will undoubtedly continue to surpass expectations.
While she had many, Jenkins’ biggest moment of the District Tournament came on May 8 in the semifinals against Science Hill High School.
Trailing 2-1 in the bottom of the seventh inning and on the verge of losing their first conference contest of the season, Jenkins stepped to the plate with two outs and the bases loaded.
The freshman answered with a two-run double to give Boone a 3-2 walk-off win, assure them a spot in the region tournament.
Boone struck first in the contest, scoring a run in the second inning, but Science Hill added two runs in the third to take the lead.
Boone couldn’t find any offense until their final at bat, when Jenkins won the game.
McKenzi Ferguson earned the win in the circle for the Blazers, allowing just two runs on five hits, her only blemish in the third inning.
Preceding the matchup against Science Hill, the Lady Blazers picked up play in the District Tournament against host Volunteer on May 6.
Boone would only need six innings to finish off the Lady Falcons.
Volunteer scored the first run of the contest in the top of the second inning, with Jenkins in the circle. It would be their last.
The Blazers countered with two runs in the second, two in the third, and one in the fourth before adding six in the sixth inning, reaching the 10-run mercy rule to end the contest prematurely, 11-1.
Jenkins allowed a single Falcon run through six innings on three hits, striking out five to earn the win.
Fellow freshman Kaylin Conkin displayed one of the hottest bats in the Blazer lineup, hitting home runs in the fourth and sixth inning.
Kayla Sanders also had a strong performance, finishing with three hits, the biggest coming in the sixth, on a two-run home run.
Jenkins solidified her tournament MVP honors in the championship contest against Dobyns-Bennett on May 9.
In the circle, Jenkins allowed just one Lady Indian hit in a complete game shutout.
The Lady Blazers couldn’t find a whole lot of run support, but they wouldn’t need it.
After a leadoff double, Sanders crossed home in the first inning for the first Boone run.
They added security in the sixth inning with another run and Jenkins closed out Dobyns-Bennett in the seventh.
Joining Jenkins on the all-tournament team were teammates Sanders and Ferguson.
The Lady Blazers and Lady Indians now advance to the region tournament, meeting Seymour and Jefferson County.
Boone was scheduled to host Jefferson County on May 13 with the championship looming on May 15 against the winner of the game between Seymour and D-B.