|EMCC Lady Lions earn home doubleheader split with Marion Military in softball season opener|
SCOOBA – Late-inning dramatics in their softball season opener helped give the East Mississippi Community College Lady Lions a home doubleheader split with Marion Military Institute Tuesday afternoon at the EMCC Softball Field. A come-from-behind 8-7 EMCC victory in the opener was followed by a 4-2 MMI win in the nightcap.
After the visiting Lady Tigers took a 2-0 lead in the fourth inning of the opening contest, EMCC sophomore Stormy Lewis cut the deficit in half with a solo home run to center field off MMI starting pitcher Jessica Boykin in the bottom of the frame. An inning later, EMCC’s Jessica Richardson smashed a leadoff double to the left-center field gap and later came around to score on Alex Smith’s bloop single to right field.
MMI reclaimed the lead at 3-2 by plating a two-out solo run in the top of the sixth to set up the late-game heroics by both teams. In the bottom of the sixth, Lewis’ third hit of the game was followed by one-out singles from former Clarkdale teammates Logan Bozeman and Cory Roberson. Following an infield pop-out, Richardson smacked a two-out grand slam to the right-centerfield alley to stake the Lady Lions to a 6-3 cushion heading into the last inning.
After EMCC starting pitcher Misty Richard retired the first two MMI batters in the seventh inning, Maryellen Pilitowski gave the visitors new life by reaching first base on a swinging third strike that bounded away from home plate. Three successive singles followed to cut the deficit to 6-5. MMI’s comeback continued when Tiffani White stroked a two-run double to put the Lady Tigers on top 7-6.
However, the home-standing Lady Lions had one final answer in their season opener. Another Clarkdale tandem of Smith and Amber Spann led off the bottom of the seventh with back-to-back singles. Following a pitching change, sophomore Paige Sheppard lined a walk-off triple down the right-field line off MMI reliever Brittani Sampson to give EMCC the thrilling 8-7 triumph.
Lewis and Smith paced the Lady Lions’ 13-hit attack in the opener with three hits each. Lewis, a Quitman product, had a single, double and homer in her EMCC debut. Richardson, from Columbus High School, went 2-for-3 with the four runs batted in and a pair of runs scored. Roberson also added a pair of singles for the winners.
In the circle, Richard went the distance in the opener to pick up the victory in her collegiate debut. The former West Lauderdale standout scattered nine hits while striking out six and also walking a half-dozen.
In the nightcap, MMI’s Sampson limited the Lady Lions to just five hits, including just one hit over the final three innings, in going the distance and salvaging a doubleheader split for Marion Military.
EMCC and MMI traded solo tallies in the third and fourth innings, before the visitors opened the sixth frame with three consecutive hits on the way to pushing across two more runs off Lady Lion starter Amelia LaVergne and reliever Stevie Wilson.
Sophomore Shelby Whitt, of Houston, led the Lady Lions at the plate in the second game by going 2-for-3, including a fourth-inning double. Spann, Sheppard and Roberson each added base hits for EMCC in the nightcap.
Head coach Kate Neely’s 1-1 EMCC Lady Lions head to Perkinston to meet perennial MACJC South Division powerhouse Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College in a Friday doubleheader. East Mississippi opens next week by meeting Hinds CC in a 1 p.m. Monday afternoon doubleheader at Clarkdale High School’s home softball field. The Lady Lions will then play host to defending MACJC State Champion East Central Community College Wednesday afternoon (1 p.m.) at the EMCC Softball Field on the Scooba campus.
|Last Updated ( Tuesday, 07 February 2012 )|
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