|EMCC Lady Lions close out successful softball season with 9-6 regional loss to Jones County|
CLINTON – The most successful season in East Mississippi Community College’s fastpitch softball program history came to a close Friday afternoon, as the Lady Lions dropped a 9-6 decision to Jones County in a loser’s bracket contest of the 2011 NJCAA Region 23 Softball Tournament held at Clinton’s Traceway Park.
Making their first regional softball tournament appearance since 2002, head coach Kate Neely’s EMCC Lady Lions conclude the 2011 campaign with a 23-23 overall record. Along with making a third consecutive appearance in the MACJC State Softball Tournament, this year’s East Mississippi squad posted a 19-5 mark in MACJC North Division play to claim the school’s first outright division championship in fastpitch competition.
A day after having a 12-run fourth inning by the opposition send them to a 16-2 opening-game setback at the hands of top-ranked LSU-Eunice, the Lady Lions got off to a slow start against Jones County. Highlighted by a two-run home run by Mallory Cowart, the fourth-seeded Lady Bobcats plated four runs on five hits in the bottom of the first inning off EMCC starting pitcher Amy Johnson.
Out-hitting Jones County 11-10 on the afternoon, EMCC pushed across solo runs in the second, third and fifth innings. A two-out bunt single by all-state centerfielder DeShuni Sanders plated Cory Roberson in the second inning. A frame later, the Lady Lions tallied another two-out score when all-region third baseman Lainie Simcox singled home Leigh Ellen Barefield, who led off the inning with a single. After JCJC went ahead 5-2 with a run in the fourth, EMCC again cut into the deficit with another solo run in the fifth on Roberson’s RBI bloop single.
Despite falling behind 9-3 following a four-run fifth inning by Jones County, the Lady Lions continued to battle back by chasing JCJC starting pitcher Ginger Lonergan with three straight hits to open the sixth inning, including a two-run single by sophomore second baseman Cayla Coleman. Freshman catcher Jessie Clark provided the final margin later in the frame by knocking in a run on an infield groundout.
Sanders, a sophomore out of New Hope High School, paced EMCC’s 11-hit attack with a 3-for-4 effort at the plate on a trio of bunt singles. Simcox and Roberson each added two hits apiece for the Lady Lions.
Going the distance in the circle for East Mississippi, Johnson ended her freshman campaign with a 17-14 pitching record. A native of Starks, La., Johnson allowed nine runs on 10 hits, with three strikeouts and only one walk, in the season finale against Jones County.
|Last Updated ( Saturday, 07 May 2011 )|
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