|New-look EMCC Lady Lions set to open softball season Tuesday against Marion Military Institute|
First pitch for the season-opening doubleheader is set for 1 p.m. at the EMCC Softball Field.
SCOOBA – Coming off the most successful season of fast-pitch softball competition in the program’s history, the East Mississippi Community College Lady Lions are set to open their 2012 softball campaign by playing host to Marion Military Institute Tuesday afternoon on the Scooba campus.
A year ago under the guidance of 2011 MACJC North Division Softball Coach of the Year Kate Neely, the Lady Lions claimed the program’s first-ever MACJC North Division fast-pitch softball championship with a 19-5 division mark. A 23-23 overall campaign, which included a highly competitive pre-conference slate last season, was capped by EMCC advancing to NJCAA Region 23 Tournament play for the first time since 2002.
Coach Neely and assistant coach Casey Finch have had to replace virtually the entire starting lineup and pitching staff from last year’s division-winning EMCC ballclub. In fact, only six members on the team’s current 19-player roster saw action for the Lady Lions last season.
Veteran infielders Cory Roberson (Clarkdale HS) and Paige Sheppard (Southeast Lauderdale HS) return with the most experience for the Lady Lions, having batted .324 and .293, respectively, in part-time starting roles a year ago. Also back from last season’s championship squad are Shelby Whitt (Houston HS), Robresha Thomas (Sumrall HS), Jessica Richardson (Columbus HS) and Alyssa Farr (Pontotoc HS).
Of the 13 newcomers on this year’s new-look EMCC softball edition, six players hail from the Meridian area in Charly Boswell (Northeast Lauderdale HS), Misty Richard (West Lauderdale HS) and Stormy Lewis (Quitman HS) as well as former Clarkdale teammates Amber Spann, Logan Bozeman and Alex Smith. Local Kemper Academy products Shelby Sheppard and Sarah Dudley join the Lady Lions along with fellow in-state newcomers Allison Hauer (Franklin County HS) and Haley Tutor (New Hope HS).
Having to completely reload their pitching staff from a year ago, the Lady Lions have added out-of-state hurlers Stevie Wilson (Bessemer [Ala.] Academy), Cortnee Meyers (Greenville [Ala.] HS) and Amelia LaVergne (Notre Dame HS in Rayne, La.) to compete for action in the circle this season.
Following Tuesday’s season-opening home contests against Marion Military Institute, the EMCC Lady Lions will next travel to Perkinston for a Friday afternoon doubleheader against perennial MACJC South Division powerhouse Mississippi Gulf Coast. On Monday (Feb. 13), the Lady Lions will take on Hinds Community College in a 1 p.m. doubleheader to be played at Clarkdale High School’s home softball field. EMCC then returns to Scooba to entertain defending MACJC State Champion East Central next Wednesday (Feb. 15) in a 1 p.m. twinbill at the EMCC Softball Field.
|Last Updated ( Monday, 06 February 2012 )|
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