MARION, Ala. – The East Mississippi Community College softball team opened the 2018 season by splitting a road doubleheader with Marion Military Institute. Following an 8-0 shutout win over MMI in the opener, EMCC's comeback attempt fell just short in a 5-3 nightcap setback to the Lady Tigers.
AG Stewart's masterful two-hit shutout and two big innings offensively for the Lady Lions were the primary storylines in the run-rule opener. Stewart, a sophomore right-hander, struck out six and walked only one through five innings of work. The Pisgah High School product only allowed a leadoff double to Lexi McCray in the second inning and a leadoff single to Anna Claire Gresham in the fifth.
Stewart's teammates provided all of the run support she would need with a five-run third inning. Ashley Vickers' bases-clearing triple off MMI starting pitcher Alex Reed highlighted the frame. EMCC batted through the order again in the fifth with three more runs as a result, including Camryn Williams' second hit of the game.
The home-standing Lady Tigers took an early 2-0 lead in the nightcap with a pair of first-inning runs off EMCC starting pitcher Bryley Rodriguez. Marion Military reached the freshman right-hander for three more runs in the fourth on Jaina Walden's two-run doubled followed by Gresham's RBI single.
MMI maintained its 5-0 lead in the second game until the final two innings when the visitors mounted a comeback. EMCC got on the scoreboard in the sixth inning with Camryn Williams' two-out RBI single. The Lady Lions then made things very interesting in their final at-bat against the Lady Tigers. A leadoff, pinch-hit double by Carly Thompson was followed by a two-run home run by Rebekah Williams off McCray to cut the deficit to 5-3. EMCC mounted a two-out rally later in the frame but could not push across the potential game-tying runs.
EMCC's eight-hit team effort in the nightcap was led by freshman Mollie Singleterry's 2-for-3 outing at the plate with a pair of singles and a walk.
Coach Kyndall White's 1-1 EMCC Lady Lions are slated to take on the same Marion Military team in their home opener on Thursday. First pitch is set for 2 p.m. at the EMCC Softball Field on the Scooba campus.