Journalism

Jarrette starts collegiate career at ECCC

MEMBERS of the 2019 East Central Community softball team, and their
respective hometowns and high schools, include (front row, from left) assistant coach Emily Church; freshman infielder EmilySue Parkman, Lake/Lake; freshman infielder MaKenzie Barnett, Philadelphia/Neshoba Central; sophomore pitcher/infielder Annika Jones, Philadelphia/Leake Academy; freshman outfielder Olivia Houston, Brandon/Northwest Rankin; freshman utility player Kaylee Webb, Ruston, La./Ruston; freshman infielder Hannah Dufault, Hurley/East Central; freshman infielder Kelli Ficken, Terry/Central Hinds Academy; freshman pitcher/infielder Braelyn Boykin, Mize/Mize; and head coach Eric Neel; and (back row, from left) sophomore manager Megan Stewart, Vicksburg/Warren Central; freshman outfielder Parker Breland, Union/Union; freshman infielder Kailee Swindle, Hattiesburg/Presbyterian Christian School; freshman pitcher Brooklyn King, Lucedale/George County; freshman infielder Annabell Watkins, Lena/Leake Academy; freshman pitcher/infielder Jesalyn Jarrette, Baskin, La./Franklin Academy; freshman catcher/infielder Anna McNeer, Canton/Canton Academy; freshman outfielder Olivia Clay, Lake/Lake; freshman catcher Allie Brown, Ackerman/Choctaw County; and freshman manager Christian Neel, Decatur/Pearl River Central. (EC Photo)

Former Franklin Academy pitcher, Jesalyn Jarrette, is going to be called upon for pitching duties at East Central Community College, said first year Head Coach Eric Neel.

Jarrette was a multiple All-district and All-State MAIS selection and was a six-year starter for the Lady Cougars and a member of the Louisiana Firecrackers travel team.

With some solid pitching efforts Jarrette can solidify her starting position in the circle for a young team. Especially since ECCC Lady Warriors will have a fresh slate this season due to the fact there are no returning starters from the previous season.

Gone are 17 sophomores off last year’s Lady Warrior team, including all 10 starts. East Central finished 2018 with a 36-14 record, advancing to the MACJC State and National Junior College Athletic Association Region 23 tournaments.

After coaching 11 seasons, Neel has compiled a 272-132 record, including five high school state championships in Mississippi, seven state championship appearances and seven south or north state titles, as well as one regional championship and national tournament appearance at the junior/community college level at Darton State College in Albany, Ga. His state high school championship came at Class 4A East Central in Hurley and Class 5A Wayne County High School in Waynesboro.

“We are really excited about the potential this team is showing as we head into the spring season,” Neel said. “Having a lot of newcomers to the college level is good and bad. The good is they don’t realize yet how good everyone in this league is. The bad is they lack experience at this level.”

The Lady Warriors will rely more on a deep pitching staff which includes Jarrette. Freshmen Braelyn Boykin of Mize, Ms., and Brooklyn King of George County will also be on the pitching staff.

Neel said he would also be relying heavily on his only Sophomore Annika Jones out of Leake Academy. Jones appeared in 15 games last season, most as an infielder.

“It won’t be a dominate staff, but a staff where any one pitcher can give us one inning, four innings or a complete game,” explained Neel. “Whatever we need that day.”

Jarrette, from Baskin, is the daughter of Janet and Joey Jarrette.

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