|EMCC Lady Lions fall to reigning champion Co-Lin in state softball tournament|
FULTON – East Mississippi’s 2010 softball season drew to a close Thursday afternoon with a 13-7 first-round setback to two-time reigning state champion Copiah-Lincoln at the MACJC State Softball Tournament held at Itawamba’s Softball Complex.
Making their second straight state tournament appearance, the second-seeded EMCC Lady Lions were slowed by eight defensive errors in Thursday’s opening-round contest on the ICC campus, including five miscues in the sixth inning alone, that sealed their postseason fate.
After EMCC starter Courtney Nunn retired the side in order in the first, the Lady Lions got on the board in the bottom half of the inning when Mallory Pace’s two-run single plated Celeste Fontenot and DeShuni Sanders, who had reached on back-to-back singles. East Mississippi’s lead was short-lived, as the third-seeded Lady Wolves answered with two runs of their own an inning later on run-scoring singles by Monea Cameron and Holli Smith.
The Lady Lions put the pressure on the defending state champions with a four-run third inning that gave the designated home team a 6-2 advantage. After a throwing error on Nashedra Barry’s grounder sent across a run, Leigh Ellen “Hootie” Barefield drove home Pace with a single to left. Three batters later with the bases loaded, Justine Jenkins, of Caledonia, came through in the clutch with a two-out, two-run single up the middle to give EMCC the four-run lead.
Once again, EMCC couldn’t maintain its cushion by allowing the first three hitters in Co-Lin’s fourth inning to reach base via errors. The miscues combined with three consecutive singles brought home four unearned runs and evened the contest at 6-all.
After being reached for six runs on nine hits through the first three innings, Co-Lin starter Bethany Pinkston settled down to allow just one EMCC base runner over the next three frames. In contrast, Nunn’s misfortunes continued as the Lady Lions’ defensive woes worsened. Following a pair of unearned Co-Lin runs in the fifth, the Lady Wolves put the game out of reach by sending 10 batters to the plate in scoring five more unearned runs on only two hits and five EMCC errors.
In closing out the season with a 20-30 overall record, including an 18-6 league record and runner-up finish in the MACJC’s North Division standings, the EMCC Lady Lions managed to push across a final tally in the seventh off Co-Lin reliever Terri Hodges to account for the 13-7 outcome.
At the plate, East Mississippi was only out-hit 12-11 by Copiah-Lincoln. Sanders, a product of New Hope High School, led the way offensively for the Lady Lions with a 3-for-4 effort, including three runs scored and a pair of stolen bases. Pace, Jenkins and Starkville’s Portia Randle added two hits apiece for EMCC.
A sophomore right-hander, Nunn allowed a dozen hits but only two earned runs, while striking out three and walking three, to fall to 16-22 on the season. The Jonesboro, La., native completed her two-year EMCC career with a 26-34 combined pitching record along with 373 career strikeouts.
|Last Updated ( Friday, 30 April 2010 )|
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