|EMCC softball team opens divisional play with pair of one-run home wins over Northwest|
SCOOBA – The East Mississippi Community College softball team opened MACJC North Division play by sweeping Northwest Mississippi in a pair of one-run games, 4-3 and 7-6, Wednesday afternoon on the Scooba campus.
In the opener, the Lady Lions answered Northwest’s solo tally in the first inning with two unearned runs in the bottom of the third. With two outs, freshman Lainie Simcox reached base on an error by second baseman Linsey Hebert. After Mallory Pace singled up the middle, Jessie Clark and Nashedra Barry followed with run-producing singles to give the home team a 2-1 lead.
After the Lady Rangers knotted the score at 2-2 with an unearned run the fifth and then went ahead on a sacrifice fly by pinch-hitter Chelsea Murphy the next inning, the Lady Lions evened things up in the bottom of the sixth on an RBI single by Leigh Ellen Barefield. EMCC had a chance to move ahead in the inning, but Barry was thrown out at home attempting to score on Courtney Castleberry’s opposite-field hit.
Following a scoreless top of the seventh, despite a pair of Lady Ranger singles, EMCC got things rolling off Northwest starter Magen Fullwood with back-to-back singles by DeShuni Sanders and Simcox to begin the final frame. Pace was then walked by reliever Candice Brasher to load the bases for the Lady Lions. With singles in each of her first three at-bats in the game, Clark, a Clarkdale High School product, plated the game-winning run by grounding out to the shortstop.
Freshman right-hander Amy Johnson, of Starks, La., improved her record to 3-5 on the year by scattering 11 hits and two walks in the complete-game victory for EMCC.
In the nightcap, the Lady Lions again responded to a three-run first inning by the visitors with a pair of scores of their own in the bottom half. Following a one-out single by Sanders, Simcox tripled to right field to score Sanders. Pace then plated Simcox on a run-scoring fielder’s choice to second base.
The Lady Rangers added another score in the second to move ahead 4-2, but EMCC knotted the score at 4-4 with a pair of tallies in the third. After Simcox singled to left and Pace walked, they moved up on Clark’s groundout to second base. Barry, who had relieved EMCC starting pitcher Alex Dawkins in the first, followed with a clutch two-run single up the middle.
In finishing the nightcap a double shy of hitting for the cycle, Simcox smacked her first collegiate home run with a solo shot to left-center field to give the Lady Lions a 5-4 lead after five innings. Simcox, a former Southeast Lauderdale standout, was 3-for-4 in the second game with three runs scored and a pair of runs batted in.
The Lady Lions added a pair of runs in the sixth to move ahead 7-4, but they still had the bases loaded with only one out and couldn’t push across any additional runs. That would come into play in the top of the seventh when the visitors mounted a rally in an attempt to tie the game or possibly take the lead.
After Barry walked lead-off batter Hillari Plummer and advanced her to second on a wild pitch, Johnson was brought in for a save opportunity. Despite issuing a walk to Stormy Robison followed by an RBI double by Brasher, EMCC’s game one winner struck out Kayla Wilson for the first out of the inning. With Robison at third and pinch-runner Courtney Clay on second, Lindsey Brewer’s fly ball to center field was caught by EMCC’s Castleberry to score Robison from third and make the score 7-6. However, Clay also attempted to advance a base on the fly out, but she was thrown out by Castleberry at third base to seal the home doubleheader sweep in dramatic fashion.
In addition to a 2-for-3 outing at the plate in the nightcap, Barry earned her first pitching decision of the year with 5.2 innings of middle relief work. The former Columbus High School product gave up just four hits and two runs, while striking out three and walking three, before giving way to Johnson in the seventh.
Head coach Kate Neely’s EMCC Lady Lions, now 4-9 overall and 2-0 in division play, travel to Booneville to take on Northeast Mississippi in a Friday afternoon twinbill scheduled to begin at 2 p.m.
|Last Updated ( Thursday, 03 March 2011 )|
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