SCOOBA – On the heels of playing 10 consecutive games away from the home over a nine-day span, the East Mississippi Community College softball team returned home this weekend with the challenging task of facing the nation's preseason eighth-ranked team in Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College. The visiting Lady Bulldogs lived up to their preseason billing by sweeping EMCC, 10-3 and 9-1, during Saturday afternoon's MACJC inter-divisional play at the EMCC Softball Field.
In Saturday's opener, Emily Davis put the visitors on top, 2-0, with a two-run home run off EMCC starting pitcher Taylor Hackney in the top of the first inning. The Lady Lions managed to get one of the runs back in the bottom half of the frame when Anna McCrary's groundout scored leadoff batter Kristen Mitchell.
The Lady Bulldogs would essentially put the opening game away by batting around in the third and fifth innings en route to scoring five and three runs, respectively. In between those big innings for Gulf Coast, EMCC plated two runs in the fourth on Meri Morgan Fortune's two-run double to center field to account for the final outcome.
With eight hits as a team in the opener, the Lady Lions received multi-hit efforts from Brooksville's Corey Dawkins, who went 3-for-4 at the plate, along with Mitchell and Fortune, who had two hits apiece.
In the nightcap, East Mississippi again trailed early when the visitors batted around in the third with six runs on six hits. A two-run homer by Brooke Gaston off EMCC starter Halie Green the next frame made it an 8-0 contest.
EMCC avoided the early eight-run rule by pushing across a solo run in the fifth on Jade Albritton's sacrifice fly to center field. Though they loaded the bases to begin the inning, the Lady Lions could also muster the single tally. As a result, Gulf Coast's subsequent unearned run the next inning stopped the contest after six frames.
With two singles apiece in the nightcap, Mitchell, from Clarkdale, and Dawkins combined for EMCC's four total hits in the second setback of the afternoon.
Having previously sandwiched a 4-3 win over West Georgia Tech between run-rule losses to Central Alabama (11-3) and Southern Union State (9-0) the day before during Friday's round-robin tournament action at Shelton State Community College, head coach Kyndall White's EMCC Lady Lions enter the final week of non-division play with a 7-9 overall record. Following Tuesday's 1 p.m. doubleheader at Meridian Community College, East Mississippi will then play host to Pearl River in a 3 p.m. Thursday twin bill on the Scooba campus.