• 57°

POTW: Jessica Brock

It is hard to argue with success. It is impossible to argue with complete dominance. And the latter is what Marengo Academy junior Jessica Brock displayed this past weekend when she propelled the Lady Longhorns to their first state title.

In last year’s tournament, Brock played the role of understudy in the pitcher’s circle. She gave her team a chance in the final game but the squad ultimately fell short. Armed with that experience, Brock stepped into the circle once more last Friday afternoon.

She proceeded to mow down Crenshaw in a 15-0 rout that saw her pitch four innings before turning the ball over the Ally Vick who closed out the no-hitter in the fifth. Then came perennial MA nemesis Lowndes, a team she bested 5-0.

Saturday morning brought a clash with an exceptionally talented Springwood team that many felt would win the state. Brock against decimated the opposing lineup, throwing seven shutout innings for a 5-0 victory.

In the final game of the tournament, Brock made her lone costly mistake early when she left the second pitch of the contest over the fat part of the plate and watched it sail over the fence in left-center for a home run. MA was down for the first time in the state tourney. So what did Brock do?

She struck out two batters in the first and then roped a two-RBI double in the bottom half of the inning. That theme continued over the next four innings as Brock put together a 3-for-3 game with two doubles and five RBIs, narrowly missing a sixth when the ball caromed out of play.

All told, the Class AA tournament MVP was 7-for-12 with three doubles and eight RBIs over four games. Then there was the job she did in the circle. Nothing short of masterful, Brock went 4-0 with 29 strikeouts in 23 innings of work as MA outscored opponents 36-1.

And the worst news for the rest of the AISA, Brock headlines a long list of Lady Longhorns who will be looking to repeat in 2011. Yikes.