For the last several years, Jones County Junior College has fielded one of the best softball teams in the entire country. Friday, the lady bobcats took their program to the next level. Located in Ellisville, JCJC held a press conference this afternoon giving praise to national player of the year, Kelly Byrd and national pitcher of the year, Karli Perque.
That marks the first time in the history of NJCAA Division II softball that the same school has taken home both awards in the same season. In 2017, Byrd and Perque led the lady bobcats to the national title game but fell short to LSU Eunice for the third time in four years. Nonetheless, still a season to celebrate for two of the best to ever do it at JCJC.
Kelly Byrd said, “I want to thank God. He would never put you through more than you can handle. I’ve been through a lot. I’ve had a lot of injuries, I’ve overcome them. That’s a good thing.”
Karli Perque said, “Working this hard throughout, actually my like whole life. And being like, that’s the farthest I’ve ever gone. And to go that far with my friends and my teammates, it’s just an honor.”
JCJC head softball coach, Chris Robinson, said, “An end to a perfect – to almost a perfect season as far as we go. Any time, I think we were in the national tournament at 49-2. And just had an incredible, incredible run. Again, what they said earlier. Tough not to finish the deal, but it’s nice to know that these kids are getting recognized for their hard work and accomplish what they did.”
Other national players of the year to cme through JCJC are Tori Dew in 2014 and Lauren Holifield in 2015, both of which just finished up their senior seasons at Southern Miss.