SCOOBA – During a game-day change of venue plans, the East Mississippi Community College softball team defeated Calhoun Community College, 4-3, and Bevill State Community College, 10-8, Saturday afternoon at the EMCC Softball Field.
The three teams were originally scheduled to participate in the Meridian Community College-hosted Rush Invitational on Saturday but decided to play in Scooba when the Northeast Park softball fields in Meridian were deemed unplayable due to recent rains.
Following four scoreless innings, EMCC took a 2-0 lead over Calhoun in the first game when a two-out infield error allowed Kiera Phillips and Ashley Vickers to cross home plate. The Lady Warhawks answered by knotting the score in the top of the sixth on Baleigh Robertson's two-run double off EMCC starting pitcher Bryley Rodriguez.
Utilizing international tiebreaker rules by starting an inning with a runner at second base, Calhoun pushed across a run to begin the eighth inning on Breann Biddle's sacrifice fly. In the bottom half of the frame, a one-out triple by Rodriguez plated Kiara Conner to tie the game. Carly Thompson then followed with a walk-off, fly-ball single to left field to drive home the winning run and snap the Lady Lions' six-game losing skid.
Vickers and Rodriguez had two hits apiece for the winners against Calhoun, while sophomore right-hander AG Stewart picked up the win in relief and improved her record to 3-2 on the year.
Against Bevill State, EMCC grabbed an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first when Mollie Singleterry's sacrifice fly brought home leadoff batter Kelsey English, who led off the inning with a double. The Lady Bears then took advantage of three costly errors by EMCC during the second and third innings to claim a 5-1 advantage.
The Lady Lions responded by batting around in the fourth inning to score six runs on six hits in jumping back ahead, 7-5. The big hits in the inning for EMCC were Camryn Williams' RBI triple and a two-run double by Vickers.
After Bevill State knotted the score a frame later with a pair of runs on back-to-back doubles by Shelby Morgan and Kaitlin Kelley off Rodriguez, EMCC answered with three runs in the bottom half of the fifth to take the lead for good.
Rodriguez, a freshman right-hander from Cankton, Louisiana, was the benefactor of EMCC's three-run fifth inning to pick up her first collegiate victory. Stewart picked up the save by pitching the final two frames in relief after starting the game in the circle.
English, out of Clay-Chalkville High School in Alabama, paced the Lady Lions' 11-hit team effort in the nightcap against Bevill State with a 3-for-4 outing at the plate. Singleterry added two hits in three official at-bats for the winners.
Coach Kyndall White's 4-10 EMCC Lady Lions are scheduled to open MACJC conference action by playing host to Northwest Mississippi in a Wednesday doubleheader. First pitch is slated for 2 p.m. on the Scooba campus.