SCOOBA – On the strength of complete-game pitching performances from Halie Green and Taylor Hackney, the Lady Lions of East Mississippi Community College swept visiting Holmes Community College, 4-0 and 4-2, during MACJC North Division softball action Saturday afternoon at the EMCC Softball Field.
In the opener, EMCC reached Holmes starting pitcher Katie Johnston for two runs in the bottom of the third on Jade Albritton's two-run single. Ultimately, that would prove to be the only run support Green would need, but the Lady Lions plated solo tallies during each of the next two frames on Tori Seymour's fourth-inning sacrifice fly and Kasey Stanfield's second home run of the year the following inning to account for the final margin.
Meanwhile in the circle, Green faced just four batters beyond the minimum 21 in registering her 13th complete game in 14 pitching starts this season. The sophomore right-hander didn't allow a hit until Kelsey Kelly's leadoff bloop single in the fourth. The only other hit Green surrendered was a leadoff single in the fifth to Samantha Meadows, who managed to be the only Lady Bulldog runner in game one to reach third base. She and Tam Jenkins were both stranded in scoring position to thwart Holmes' only real scoring threat in the opener.
Green proceeded to retire the visitors in order the final two innings to improve to 9-7 on the season with her second shutout. The Lafayette, La., native fanned four and did not issue a walk over seven innings during her 81-pitch performance.
With EMCC out-hitting Holmes, 9-2, during the opener, Albritton and Stanfield were both 2-for-2 at the plate and reached base all six times between them.
In the nightcap, the Lady Bulldogs got on the scoreboard for the first time on the day with Michelle Gregory's run-scoring ground out in the top of the first. EMCC tied the game at 1-1 in the second on Pepper Baker's RBI single that scored Beth Hull, who courtesy ran following catcher Abby Roberts' leadoff double.
The Lady Lions added two more runs off Holmes starting pitcher Brett Whitlock in the fifth inning to give Hackney a 3-1 lead. Kristen Mitchell and Corey Dawkins led off the inning by singling and walking, respectively. After being bunted into scoring position by Stanfield, Albritton stroked a two-run double to right-center field.
Holmes got one of those runs back in its next at-bat, but Hackney battled out of a bases-loaded jam to minimize the damage and preserve the narrow lead. Katherine Pennington's one-out single with the bases full cut the deficit to 3-2. With the bases still jammed, Hackney struck out Karina Brown looking and retired Keana Wash on a lineout to right field to halt the potential rally.
EMCC added an insurance run in the bottom of the sixth on Mitchell's RBI bloop single that sent pinch-runner Elizabeth Barnacastle into score after she replaced Meri Morgan Fortune, who got things started with a one-out double to the left-center field gap.
While also going the distance in the circle, Hackney raised her pitching record to 8-5 on the year. The former Bayou Academy standout scattered eight hits while striking out seven and walking three over the seven innings.
With eight hits in game two as a team, the Lady Lions received two-hit efforts from both Mitchell and Roberts.
Coach Kyndall White's 21-15 EMCC Lady Lions, 10-6 in division play, are slated to play three doubleheaders in four days during the coming week. After playing host to Northeast Mississippi in a 3 p.m. Tuesday twin bill, EMCC is scheduled to travel to Clarksdale for a make-up doubleheader at Coahoma on Wednesday. The Lady Lions will wrap up the busy week of softball action by welcoming Mississippi Delta to the Scooba campus for a 3 p.m. Friday doubleheader during "Sophomore Day" festivities on the Scooba campus.