EMCC drops a pair at East Central to open MACCC softball play

Published 1:59 pm Tuesday, March 15, 2022

DECATUR — East Mississippi Community College opened the conference softball season by dropping a pair of road decisions, 6-3 and 5-1, at East Central Community College during Friday afternoon MACCC action played on the ECCC campus.

In the opening contest, East Central’s five-run third inning off EMCC starting pitcher Laken Firth was the difference in the game. ECCC batted through the lineup and was also aided by a pair of costly infield errors by the visitors. Mattie Hodge’s two-run homer highlighted the big inning for the Warriors.

The Lions’ runs came during consecutive innings mid-game as ECCC’s lead was trimmed to 5-3. Celeste Study’s two-run homer – her first of two on the afternoon – in the fourth inning was followed by Carley Martin’s two-out RBI single a frame later.

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East Central added an insurance run in the fifth inning when Meadow Villar followed Taylor Pittman’s leadoff double with a run-scoring single.

The ECCC pitching tandem of starter Caroline Jackson and Makayla White scattered six hits over the seven innings.

EMCC’s Jenna Kirkland had two hits in the opener, while Kaitlynn Stroud had a double and Maggie Meadows added a single for the visitors.

The Warriors also got on the board first in the nightcap when Madison Holton’s run-scoring single drove home Hodge following her leadoff double in the first inning.

The Lions tied the game at 1-1 a frame later on Study’s second homer of the day and team-leading fourth of the season.

That was EMCC’s last scoring threat in the nightcap, however, as East Central’s Rae Rae Evans retired the next 11 batters in order en route to limiting the visitors to just three hits in the game.

The Warriors answered with solo runs in the third and fourth innings on Emily McDonald’s home run and a sacrifice fly by Shante’ Beaulieu, respectively. They then added a pair of insurance runs in the fifth frame off EMCC reliever Meleah Pogue.

Following Study’s leadoff homer in the second inning, the only other baserunners allowed by Evans were singles by Meadows and Martin in the fifth and sixth innings, respectively, and a seventh-inning walk to Raegan Pritchett.

Coach Whitney Hawkins’ 3-16 EMCC Lady Lions are scheduled to return to action over the weekend (March 19-20) with an MACCC doubleheader at Copiah-Lincoln on Saturday followed the next day by a makeup home twin bill against Bevill State. First pitch for Sunday’s non-conference softball action is set for 1 p.m. on the Scooba campus.