Opening-game shutout keys EMCC Lady Lions to road softball doubleheader division split with Holmes

Opening-game shutout keys EMCC Lady Lions to road softball doubleheader division split with Holmes

GOODMAN – Playing their first of three straight MACJC North Division road softball doubleheaders, the Lady Lions of East Mississippi Community College split Saturday's twin bill at Holmes Community College.  After shutting out the Lady Bulldogs, 9-0, in the opener, EMCC dropped a 5-4 eight-inning decision in the nightcap.

In the opener, the visitors took advantage of a pair of costly Holmes errors to begin the contest.  EMCC went on to push across four runs in the top of the first on RBI doubles from Abby Roberts and Pepper Baker along with a run-scoring single by Anna McCrary.

Aided by subsequent Lady Bulldog miscues during latter innings, EMCC tacked on two additional scores in the third inning and then added three more tallies in the seventh to cruise to the 9-0 shutout.  Meri Morgan Fortune had a run-scoring single in the third, while Roberts capped a 3-for-4, 3-RBI outing at the plate with a two-run double in the seventh.

Meanwhile, sophomore right-hander Taylor Hackney dominated in the circle for the Lady Lions in the opener.  Scattering seven hits in the complete-game effort, the former Bayou Academy product fanned 11 Holmes batters, while issuing just one walk, to even her pitching record to 4-4 on the year.

With the visitors out-hitting Holmes, 10-7, McCrary added a 2-for-4 showing at the plate for the winners.   

The contrasting nightcap came down to an extra inning to determine the winner.  The two teams traded two-run innings during the early part of the contest.  Holmes proved clutch by plating a pair of two-out runs during each of the first two frames off EMCC starter Tori Seymour.  In between, the Lady Lions posted two tallies of their own in the top of the second on an RBI double by Fortune and a run-scoring single from Whitney Lowe.

The visitors knotted the score at 4-4 with solo scores in the fourth and sixth innings.  After leading off the fourth with a walk, Baker advanced to second on Fortune's single and moved to third on Lowe's sacrifice bunt before scoring on a wild pitch.  Two frames later, the Lady Lions tied the contest on Kristen Mitchell's RBI single.  However, they managed just the one score on four hits in the inning and left the bases loaded.

With the use of the international tiebreaker rules, EMCC was unable to score Fortune from third base in the top of the eighth inning.  In the bottom half of the extra frame, the Lady Bulldogs were also able to move their tiebreaker runner from second to third with a sacrifice bunt.  The difference was that Holmes successfully pushed across the winning run when Charneissa Gordon's fly ball to left field off Halie Green was dropped, though Kelsey Kelly would have scored from third anyhow on the deep fly out.

As the Lady Lions again out-hit Holmes, 11-8, in the nightcap, Fortune and Lowe paced EMCC offensively with three and two hits, respectively.

Green, a sophomore right-hander, dropped to 6-5 on the year after pitching the final 4.1 innings in relief of Seymour.  The Lafayette, La., native allowed just three hits and the lone run while fanning three and walking one in being saddled with the tough-luck loss.

Coach Kyndall White's 14-12 EMCC Lady Lions will take their 3-3 division mark to Booneville to meet Northeast Mississippi in a Tuesday doubleheader slated for a noon start.