Tied at 3, the game went into extra innings.
With two outs in the top of the eighth, the Rockets put together a rally and the Jaguars looked on the brink of a total collapse. Going into the bottom of the inning, the Jaguars were down 8-3.
"I have seen these girls come back in so many situations," Bowlin said. "When they came in, I told them, 'We're at the meat of our lineup. If we can't do it now we don't deserve to do it.' We have a lot of senior leadership and when they got in their huddle, they broke on 'Believe' and you just get chills when you hear them say that cause you just know something's going to happen and it did."
After one quick out, the Jaguars went to work. East pushed one across and found itself in a bases loaded situation with two outs and number nine hitter Caitlin McCray, a perennial slap hitter, at the plate. Rockcastle used a shifted defense in an effort to keep McCray's slap hits from finding a hole. And McCray hit a two-strike pitch the only place she could, right over the third base bag for a double that plated two.
And that brought Jones to the plate.
"Everyone up and down our lineup really has come through with hits when we need them," Bowlin said. "They just have so much love for each other and so much passion."
Jones' at-bat could be described as epic. The Rockcastle hurler continually threw strikes and Jones battled, fouling pitch after pitch off. She got under one and lifted it straight up. The Rockcastle defense froze and left its catcher on an island. She didn't find the ball in time and it fell into foul ground.
Jones, and the Jaguars, had been given a reprieve.
"I think that lit us up for sure," Bowlin said. "We tried to keep it out of the air all year long cause those are easy outs. But when you get a drop like that - if you have another chance - it gives you the life that you're looking for. You have to be able to capitalize on other people's errors just like they did on ours early in the game."
The next pitch was fouled over the Rockcastle dugout down the first base line. And then Jones got her pitch. She laced a line drive over the second base bag to chase two runs home. She was thrown out at second trying to advance on the throw home.
Tied at 8-8, the first round game was going to the ninth inning.
The next three innings were highlighted by fine defensive work.
In the top of the 10th, the Rockets got two runners on and successfully attempted a sacrifice bunt. With just one out, Rockcastle had two runners in scoring position.
The Rockets tried to safety squeeze, but the bunt popped into the air and catcher Kayle Hall made a fine play to get the out and keep both runners from advancing.
Rockcastle refused to go quietly but the Jaguars got a diving stop from Emily Underwood on a ball headed to the outfield. Underwood threw the batter out from her knees to end the inning.
The Rockets threatened again in the top of the 11th when they got a lead-off hit.
But when Rockcastle attempted to sacrifice the runner over, pitcher Allison Searcy made a fine play to get the lead runner at second. A fielder's choice and a fly out got the Jaguars out of trouble.
Finally, in the bottom of the 11th, McCray led off the inning with a walk and then stole second. With the winning run at second, Jones stepped to the plate again.
There was no epic plate appearence this time as Jones delivered a hard hit ground ball to the third baseman. McCray stopped halfway between second and third as the defender looked her back before throwing on to first. McCray advanced anyway and the throw sailed over the first baseman's head.
McCray scored easily from second on the throwing error as the Jaguars advanced to the second round.
Searcy pitched all 11 innings for East. She struck out four and allowed eight runs on eight hits. With the injury to Bethany Davis, who was hit by a pitch in the hand earlier in the season, Searcy has been a work horse for the Jaguars.
"She never backed down," Bowling said of Searcy. "I've seen her all year long start throwing her hardest really in about the fourth or fifth inning. Most pitchers lose force and strength on their pitches but she just seems to get stronger as she goes. We've been able to depend on her all year for that."
Jones was 2-for-6 at the plate with a triple. Brittany Webb was 3-for-5 and Searcy was 2-for-5.
The game was the only one played in the opening round of the tournament as rain post-poned the rest of the night's action.