|EMCC Lady Lions swept at Itawamba to fall into first-place tie|
FULTON – The Lady Lions of East Mississippi fell into a first-place tie with rival Itawamba in the MACJC’s North Division softball standings by falling, 4-3 and 7-0, to the Lady Indians Saturday afternoon on the ICC campus.
With one week remaining in the regular season, EMCC and ICC own identical 16-4 division marks. All four of the Lady Lions’ league losses this season have come against Itawamba. Now 18-27 overall on the year, head coach Kate Neely’s EMCC squad plays host to Mississippi Delta on Tuesday (1 p.m.) following ‘Sophomore Day’ festivities on the Scooba campus.
In Saturday’s opener at Itawamba, the home-standing Lady Indians staked starter Chelsea Lukens to a 3-0 lead on a first-inning RBI double by CeCee Austin and a two-out, two-run home run by Rachel Tally in the fifth. Held to just three hits through the first five innings, the Lady Lions got on the scoreboard in the sixth when Mallory Pace singled home Cayla Coleman, who had led off the inning with a single.
After Itawamba got the run back in the home half of the sixth, East Mississippi rallied in the final frame but fell one run shy of tying the contest. Leigh Ellen Barefield and Courtney Nunn ignited the comeback attempt by singling and doubling, respectively, in front of Portia Randle’s two-run single up the middle. However, the comeback try was halted when DeShuni Sanders was caught looking on a called third strike with two runners on base.
Nunn, a sophomore right-hander from Jonesboro, La., took the complete-game loss for the visitors, giving up nine hits while striking out five and walking but one batter. At the plate for EMCC, Pace and Randle combined for half of the team’s eight hits in the opener with two singles each.
In the nightcap, ICC’s Laura Mitchell faced just four batters over the minimum in scattering four singles – three by Pace – over seven innings for the complete-game victory. While being retired in order four times, the Lady Lions managed to get only one runner in scoring position during the second game. Singles by Pace and Nunn in the second inning were erased by a pair of subsequent fielder’s choices.
Meanwhile, Austin reached Nunn for a two-run homer in the first to open the scoring. With the visitors being stymied by Mitchell and ICC’s errorless defense, the Lady Indians tacked on a solo run in the fourth and followed with two-run frames in the fifth and sixth to seal the 7-0 triumph and create a tie atop the MACJC’s North Division standings.
Allowing nine hits with three strikeouts and two walks while going the distance again in the nightcap, Nunn fell to 15-20 on the year. Pace, a freshman from Meridian’s Northeast Lauderdale High School, was EMCC’s lone bright spot at the plate in going 5-for-6 on the afternoon.
|Last Updated ( Sunday, 18 April 2010 )|
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