East Central and Jones County will face off at 1 p.m., followed by No. 1 LSU-Eunice and No. 3 Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College at 3:30 p.m.
The winners from Friday’s games will meet on Saturday at 10:30 a.m. and the losers will meet in an elimination game at 1 p.m. A second elimination game will be held at 3:30 p.m. Saturday. The championship game is scheduled for Noon on Sunday.
Jones County, which won the Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges State Tournament May 4 with a 2-0 win over Gulf Coast, will be the top seed in the Region 23 Tournament. Jones County is 42-6 on the season. Gulf Coast will be the No. 2 seed with a 45-5 record. LSU-Eunice is 51-5 and the No. 3 seed. The East Central Lady Diamond Warriors enter Region 23 play as the No. 4 seed with a 43-9 record.
The top two teams from the Region 23 Tournament advance to the 2016 NJCAA Division II Softball Championship to be played May 18-21 at Traceway Park in Clinton.
East Central will be very familiar with its opponents in the Region 23 Tournament, having played Jones County and Mississippi Gulf Coast three times each this season, and LSU-Eunice in last year’s Region 23 Tournament.
“I think going into this tournament we are very familiar with who we are playing and we know what we are up against," said ECCC Head Coach Kristin Chaney. “It is going to come down to who wants it more and who has that hunger to go after it.”
East Central has lost all three matchups with Jones County this season, the most recent being 5-1 in the first game of last weekend’s MACJC State Tournament held on the JCJC campus in Ellisville. Jones County also swept the regular season doubleheader played in Decatur.
In last season’s Region 23 Tournament played at Jones County Junior College, East Central defeated then No. 1 LSU-Eunice 4-3 in game one and No. 2 Jones County 1-0 in game two to earn a spot in both the Region 23 finals and the national tournament. The Lady Diamond Warriors went on to finish second in both tournaments.
In last week’s MACJC State Tournament, East Central lost the opener 5-1 to Jones County before rebounding for a 7-6 win over No. 7 Itawamba Community College in an elimination game. Mississippi Gulf Coast then eliminated the Lady Diamond Warriors with a 10-1 victory.