SCOOBA – A pair of complete-game pitching efforts and three solo home runs lifted the Lions of East Mississippi Community College to an MACJC softball sweep, 9-5 and 8-0, over visiting Copiah-Lincoln Community College Monday night at the EMCC Softball Field.
To begin the evening, EMCC freshman Bryley Rodriguez scattered eight hits over seven innings in the circle while going 3-for-4 at the plate with four runs batted in, including her first collegiate home run. In the nightcap, Lion sophomore AG Stewart tossed a three-hit shutout and benefitted from back-to-back homers from Camryn Williams and Carly Thompson in the bottom of the fifth to complete EMCC's third conference sweep of the year with a run-rule victory.
In the opening game, the Lions answered Co-Lin's pair of first-inning runs with solo tallies in each of the first two frames. Rodriguez's first collegiate homer knotted the game at 2-2 in the second.
The third inning proved to be the turning point in the first game. After Co-Lin starting pitcher Bailey Root retired the first two EMCC batters on ground balls, consecutive walks to Mollie Singleterry and Camryn Williams set the table for four straight hits by the Lions that produced four runs to make it a 6-3 contest.
Rodriguez again helped her own cause with a two-out, two-run single to increase the margin to 8-4 after four innings. The two teams traded solo runs late in the game to produce the 9-5 final in the opener, as the Lions scored runs in all but one inning.
With Rodriguez leading the way, EMCC's nine-hit team effort also featured two hits apiece from Thompson and Rebekah Williams. Thompson contributed a two-run double during the Lions' four-run frame in the third.
In the circle, Rodriguez, from Cankton, Louisiana, struck out seven and walked two to improve to 6-7 on the year.
The nightcap was decided in the third inning when the Lions batted around to reach Co-Lin starting pitcher Mackenzie Gros for five runs on seven hits. Rodriguez once again came through at the plate with a two-out, two-run double to highlight the big inning for EMCC.
Leading 6-0 after four innings, the Lions ended the nightcap early as Camryn Williams and Thompson led off the bottom of the fifth with back-to-back solo shots off Christian Black to reach the run-rule margin. Williams, from White Hall, Arkansas, is currently tied for eighth nationally with seven home runs, while Thompson, out of Germantown High School, now has four homers on the year.
In going the distance in the circle after getting out of first-inning trouble and stranding the bases loaded in the fourth, Stewart evened her record to 5-5 for the season. The Pisgah High School product fanned two and walked three during her three-hit shutout.
Coach Kyndall White's EMCC Lions, 11-14 overall and 7-3 in MACJC play, travel to Goodman to take on the Lady Bulldogs of Holmes Community College in a 3 p.m. Wednesday doubleheader.