|12-run inning dooms EMCC's Lady Lions in 16-2 softball regional loss to top-ranked LSU-Eunice|
CLINTON – A 12-run fourth inning by the nation’s top-ranked team spelled doom for East Mississippi Community College, as the Lady Lions dropped a 16-2 run-ruled decision to LSU-Eunice Thursday afternoon in opening-day action of the 2011 NJCAA Region 23 Softball Tournament being held at Clinton’s Traceway Park.
Making their first softball regional appearance since 2002, the EMCC Lady Lions hung tough with the No. 1-ranked Lady Bengals for the opening three innings. Following a three-run home run by LSUE’s Logane Fuselier in the second inning, the sixth-seeded Lady Lions countered with two runs of their own in the top of the third. After Cayla Coleman and DeShuni Sanders both reached base, all-region shortstop Mallory Pace singled to center field for EMCC’s first run. Two batters later, fellow all-region performer Lainie Simcox doubled down the left-field line to cut the deficit to 3-2.
In the bottom half of the third, LSUE’s Haley McCall homered to center field off Lady Lion starting pitcher Amy Johnson to make it a two-run game. An inning later, the Lady Bengals’ bats really began to heat up, as they sent 18 batters to the plate in scoring a dozen runs on 11 hits to put the contest out of reach.
East Mississippi was out-hit 18-7 in the first-round contest. Coleman, a sophomore second baseman from Clarkdale High School, paced the Lady Lions with a 2-for-3 effort at the plate, including a run scored.
Johnson, a freshman right-hander from Starks, La., took the loss for EMCC in falling to 17-13 on the year. With Heather Abshire picking up the victory for LSU-Eunice, the Lady Bengals improved to 49-9 for the season.
Head coach Kate Neely’s 23-22 EMCC Lady Lions fall to the losers’ bracket and will meet fourth-seeded Jones County Friday at noon on Field #2. The Lady Bobcats dropped to the losers’ bracket following a tough 1-0 setback to state champion East Central after getting by No. 5 seed Pearl River 4-1 during Thursday’s opener.
|Last Updated ( Friday, 06 May 2011 )|
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