JCJC’s Kelly Byrd takes a cut during a regular-season game earlier this year. (Photo by Shawn Wansley, JCJC)

Playing north of the border

Jones County Junior College is well-represented at the 23rd annual Canada Cup International Softball Championship this week.

Third baseman Kelly Byrd (Copiah Academy), shortstop Cori McCrary (Carroll Academy) and head coach Chris Robinson will all be part of the NJCAA All-Star Team as it competes against some of the world’s best players.

The Canada Cup began Friday and is scheduled to conclude July 17 in Surrey, British Columbia.

Byrd, who was selected as an NJCAA Division II and a National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) All-American, and McCrary, who was chosen as an NJCAA Division II All-American, help comprise the 12-player roster, which was chosen by the NJCAA Softball Coaches Association.

Byrd, who was also chosen as the NJCAA Division II Player of the Year, has signed with Delta State University, while McCrary has signed with William Carey University.

Robinson, who has guided the Lady Bobcats to a remarkable 337-93 record in eight seasons as head coach, served as director of operations for the NJCAA in 2015 when Lady Bobcats Tori Dew and Lauren Holifield were on the team.

Weekend results

The NJCAA National All-Star team posted a 3-1 record over the weekend.

The team began the tournament with a 3-1 pool play victory over the Quebec Rebelles. Byrd had a pair of hits and drove in a run in the victory.

In Game 2, the NJCAA team beat Team Canada Juniors 9-2 in 5 innings.  Melanie Murphy (Seminole St., Fla,) got the win after throwing 3 innings of two-hit ball while striking out 3 and Byrd helped offensively with a pair of hits.

Sunday saw the NJCAA All-Star team facing two more Canadian opponents in the Calahoo Erins and Team Canada Elite. In Game 1 against the Erins, Rebecca Skains (LSU-Eunice) sparked the offensive attack going 3-for-3 with two home runs and three RBIs as the NJCAA won, 5-2. Byrd, again, picked up a pair of hits.

The lone loss of the trip came in Game 2 on Sunday against Team Canada Elite.

A potent pitching attack from Canada Elite stymied the NJCAA hitters, who picked up three hits in the 2-0 loss.

The games at Softball City in Langley, British Columbia, Canada, continue this week. The NJCAA team resumes pool play today (Tuesday) with a game against world No. 1-ranked Team Japan and finishes pool games Wednesday against the No. 10-ranked team in the world, Team Mexico.

All games can be viewed live via periscope (NJCAA All Stars) or followed on game changer through twitter (@NJCAAallstars).

For more news and coverage of the tournament, go to www.canadacup.com.