SCOOBA – A pair of late-game rallies by East Mississippi Community College resulted in a home MACJC doubleheader split of one-run decisions against visiting Meridian during Sunday's Sophomore Day action at the EMCC Softball Field. After scoring four runs over the final three innings to claim a 4-3 walk-off win in the opener, EMCC couldn't quite erase a four-run deficit in dropping a 5-4 nightcap decision to the Lady Eagles.
Meridian took an early 3-0 lead in the opening game off EMCC starting pitcher AG Stewart. Chandler Moore's RBI double in the first inning was followed by two unearned runs in the third on a sacrifice fly by Abbe Bates and Brianna Robbins' two-out, run-scoring single.
After being held hitless through the first four innings by MCC starter Kaitlyn Parrish, the Lady Lions got on the board in the fifth with Bryley Rodriguez's second homer of the year – a solo shot to left field – to cut the deficit to 3-1. As Rodriguez held the Lady Eagle bats in check by facing the minimum during her four innings of relief work in the circle, EMCC was able to knot the score at 3-3 with two unearned runs in the sixth inning aided by a pair of costly Meridian errors.
The Lady Lions came right back in the bottom of the seventh to put the first two hitters on base against MCC reliever Tiana Boutte. Layton Sills singled and pinch-hitter Megan Cummins walked before being bunted over by Rebekah Williams. Two batters later, Ashley Vickers' second hit of the game gave EMCC the 4-3 comeback victory in the opener.
Rodriguez improved to 8-10 on the season by allowing just two hits with three strikeouts and no walks during her four shutout innings of work in the circle.
The nightcap began in similar fashion with Meridian claiming an early advantage through the first three innings. After the two teams traded solo tallies in the first frame, the visitors reached Stewart for two more runs in the second inning on Jayla Poindexter's two-out, two-run double. Taylor Perilloux gave the Lady Eagles a 4-1 lead an inning later with a two-out RBI single off Rodriguez.
Meridian added what proved to be a valuable insurance run in the sixth before the Lady Lions made another last-inning comeback attempt. Sills and Williams helped set the stage again by leading off the bottom of the seventh with a single and walk, respectively. An infield error followed by a Vickers single brought home three total runs to make it a one-run contest. Pinch-runner Kiara Conner was able to advance to third on a sacrifice bunt and infield out, but the potential tying run was stranded when MCC starting pitcher Kaylie Delapaz came back into the game to preserve the victory and gain the doubleheader split for the visitors.
Carly Thompson led EMCC with a pair of singles in the nightcap. The Lady Lions were out-hit by Meridian in both contests, 8-5 in the opener and 14-8 during the second game.
Coach Kyndall White's EMCC Lady Lions, 17-20 overall and 13-9 in conference action, will travel to Fulton to take on seventh-ranked Itawamba in a 3 p.m. Tuesday twin bill on the ICC campus.