Second half turnaround propels Jackson State to SWAC Tournament

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JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) — In his first year at the helm, Jackson State head softball coach Kevin Montgomery had one big goal – outwork everyone.

His team did just that. They bounced back from an injury-riddled 0-16 start to qualify for the SWAC Tournament for the first time since 2015.

“Every game day…we wake up at 5:45, hit the weight room…hit before the game and then we’ll go out and play the same day,” junior infielder Madelyn Prukop said. “(Coach) had told us, we always get angry having to wake up that early and struggle always having to work hard even when we dont want to…but it paid off at the end of the season.”

Jackson State (12-34) took two of three from Mississippi Valley State last weekend to clinch the final spot in the tournament.

Coach Montgomery knows a thing or two about pulling off an upset. Last season he led Arkansas-Pine Bluff to a win over No.1-seed Alcorn State in the tournament. 

“It’s not even really called an upset,” Montgomery said. “The tournament is a new season, so it’s one game at a time. It’s whoever is playing the best. So you can’t call it an upset because every team there is deserving to be there. Everybody is 0-0. If I’m there, I am coming in like I am the best team there. So there’s no upset. I’m coming to win, period.”

The SWAC tournament gets underway next Wednesday at Alabama State. 

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