|Region tourney-bound EMCC Lady Lions reel in postseason individual softball honors|
SCOOBA – On the eve of making their first regional softball tournament appearance since 2002, the Lady Lions of East Mississippi Community College have reaped the benefits of their first division fastpitch championship by racking up several individual honors awarded during this week’s annual meeting of the MACJC’s head softball coaches in Jackson.
As voted on by the head softball coaches within the NJCAA’s Region 23 (Mississippi and Louisiana), EMCC sophomore shortstop Mallory Pace was selected to the 2011 NJCAA All-Region 23 team along with freshman teammate Lainie Simcox. A former standout at Northeast Lauderdale High School, Pace was the top vote-getter among MACJC North Division players and sixth overall among the 15-member all-region squad.
Entering this week’s (May 5-7) NJCAA Region 23 Softball Tournament at Traceway Park in Clinton, Pace is hitting an even .400 on the season while leading the Lady Lions with 34 runs batted in and 38 runs scored. The two-time MACJC All-North Division selection also has eight doubles and three home runs on the year.
Simcox, a product of Southeast Lauderdale, was also named to this year’s NJCAA All-Region 23 squad. The first-year third baseman is currently hitting a team-best .452 for the season with a team-high six home runs. Simcox also ranks second on the club behind Pace in RBIs (28) and runs scored (35).
Highlighted by EMCC’s Kate Neely being named the 2011 MACJC North Division Coach of the Year and Lady Lion freshman catcher Jessie Clark earning Best Defensive Player honors for the division, a total of eight East Mississippi CC players received all-division recognition. Pace, Clark and sophomore centerfielder DeShuni Sanders were all voted to the MACJC North Division First Team.
Neely, a native of Tupelo and former softball player at Meridian CC, has guided the EMCC Lady Lions to the MACJC State Softball Tournament during each of her three full seasons at the East Mississippi coaching helm. Over the past three seasons, the Lady Lions have compiled a 52-20 league record against MACJC North Division competition.
Clark, a former standout at Clarkdale High School, has committed only four errors in 125 chances on the year for a .968 fielding percentage. She was one of only two catchers this season to throw out Itawamba’s All-Region 23 outfielder and national steals leader Kimmy Nicholson while attempting to steal a base. Offensively, Clark is hitting .391 for the Lady Lions with 25 runs batted in, five doubles and two home runs.
Formerly of New Hope High School, Sanders owns a .343 batting average this season and ranks third on the team with 34 runs scored. She also leads EMCC in stolen bases for the second year in a row with 18 swipes in 21 attempts on the season.
EMCC sophomore second baseman Cayla Coleman, another Clarkdale product, joined Simcox on the MACJC’s All-North Division Second Team, while sophomores Nashedra Barry (Columbus HS) and Leigh Ellen “Hootie” Barefield (Neshoba Central HS) as well as freshman pitcher Amy Johnson (Starks, La.) received honorable mention status.
Seeded sixth in this week’s regional softball tournament in Clinton, the 23-21 EMCC Lady Lions will meet No. 1-ranked LSU-Eunice Thursday at 4 p.m. in opening-day action of the six-team, double-elimination tournament.
|Last Updated ( Wednesday, 04 May 2011 )|
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