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SOFTBALL: Pioneer transfer Vincent helps Logan win sectional

May 28—Jocelynn Vincent has brought some good vibes with her from the Pioneer softball team to the Logansport Berries.

Vincent delivered the game-winning hit with two outs in the bottom of the seventh as Logansport stunned No. 2-ranked Harrison 1-0 last Thursday at the Class 4A Kokomo Sectional.

Vincent had to overcome a lot before she ever stepped in the batter's box for the Berries this season.

First, she had to be cleared to be eligible to play by the IHSAA. She said she transferred from Pioneer to Logansport prior to this school year for academic purposes.

"I did what was best for me mentally and school, I took a lot of college classes this year that are really going to help me in my academic career and my athletic career to play at the next level," she said. "I had to go through lots of IHSAA meetings and things to get released but it happened and it worked in our favor."

Next, Vincent had to overcome an injury which has hampered her senior season with the Berries. She suffered a broken bone in her right throwing hand in February which caused her to have surgery. The injury has effected her hitting and it also caused her to start the season playing first base before she moved over to third as she got healthier.

"Before the season even started I dove for a ball practicing at third base and I jammed my finger, I dislocated it in three spots and I shattered my bone into about seven pieces," she said. "So I had to have surgery, I had a plate and four screws put in. It was a hard recovery, it definitely took a toll on my softball. It's my throwing hand, my hitting it's my strongest side. It was tough but I knew I had to work hard to get back for my team because they needed me."

Despite the injury Vincent is hitting .221 with four triples, two doubles, nine RBIs and 16 runs scored playing in all 30 games for the Berries (25-5).

Logansport coach Cory Cripe said he can see Vincent round into form more and more as the season goes along.

"She's somebody who's battled all year with whether or not she was going to be eligible to play, she's battled with she broke her pinkie in warmups before the season started. So she's battling through some injuries and some other stuff, came back probably too soon to be able to be effective," he said. "And she just said, 'Tell me what you want me to do. So we put her at first base for awhile because she couldn't throw the ball and her hitting suffered. And I saw in the last two weeks, I said, 'You're getting closer, you're getting closer.' And you know what, she's finally healthy and she got the big hit when we needed it. And she had two big hits Tuesday.

"Gosh darn, what a good kid, a senior who transfers in and she's fit right in and accepted whatever role she's been asked to do. So we're so happy she's here."

Vincent hit .435 with three home runs and 28 RBIs as a junior at Pioneer. She missed her sophomore season with a torn ACL. She played part time as a freshman on Pioneer's 2021 Class 2A state championship team and played in the sectional final and regional game.

She said she decided to transfer to Logansport last summer.

"I always thought about it because I care about my academics a lot and I know what I want to do and Logan just has a lot more classes that value what I want to do and that can help me in my academics," she said. "After I knew what I wanted to do that my schedule wouldn't work at Pioneer, I thought it would be in my best interest even if I couldn't play softball just academically for me to go to Logansport."

She said she plans to play softball at Wabash Valley College located in Mount Carmel in southeastern Illinois.

"I want to go to radiology and sonography, so I committed to a two-year JUCO in Illinois to play for two years and I hope to compete at a high level after that and get my degree in radiology."

Vincent played a flawless third base in the win over Harrison. And her shot down the right field line got past the right fielder for a walkoff triple that scored Natalee Packard from first base to lift the Berries to a win over one of the best teams in the state.

"I'm so proud of her," Logansport freshman pitcher Brooklynn Hagerty said. "She's been working hard this whole season and to see her come out here and have the walkoff hit, I am just beyond proud of her.

"When it was in the air, I was like, 'oh Nat score, Nat's going, she's going to get in.' I was so excited."

Vincent is the Berries' lone senior on the team this year. They won their first sectional championship in 26 years last week. They are seeking their first-ever regional championship.

The Berries travel to Hamilton Southeastern (21-4) for a 7 p.m. regional championship game at 7 p.m. tonight. Fans are encouraged to purchase tickets online prior to the event at GoFan.co as there will not be a cash option at the gate.

The Royals are ranked fourth on MaxPreps.com. They beat Westfield, Zionsville and Noblesville to win Sectional 8. Sophomore Grace Swedarsky is 13-2 with a 1.19 ERA. She has 205 strikeouts in 112 innings pitched.

The Berries beat No. 2 Harrison last Thursday and they're looking to pull off another upset tonight.

Vincent is happy to be a key member of the team.

"It's pretty crazy. It took a lot to get to play with this team. And I'm so grateful that I got to. I love these girls and they're so supportive of me and I'm greatly appreciative of them," she said.