SUMMIT – East Mississippi Community College's softball team dropped a pair of tough one-run road decisions, 3-2 and 6-5 in nine innings, to Southwest Mississippi during Friday's MACJC softball action.
The Lady Bears jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the first inning of the opener on a sacrifice fly by Kayla McNabb followed by Madison Parker's RBI double off EMCC starting pitcher AG Stewart.
After leaving a total of eight runners on base through the first four innings, the Lady Lions got on the board in the fifth on Carly Thompson's two-run homer – her fifth of the year – off Southwest starting pitcher Kassie Shipley. Bryley Rodriguez preceded the game-tying blast with a two-out single.
The difference in the game was Kayla McNabb's first-pitch leadoff homer in the bottom of the sixth inning to produce the go-ahead run for Southwest. Jordan McNabb came in to pitch a scoreless seventh inning to earn the save for the Lady Bears.
The nightcap also proved to be a nail-biter that went two extra innings before the winner was decided.
The Lady Lions countered Southwest's first-inning solo tally with a run in the third on Ashley Vickers' sacrifice fly. The Lady Bears promptly answered in the bottom of the third with Parker's two-out solo home run off EMCC's Rodriguez.
The score stayed 2-1 in favor of the home team until an eventful seventh inning. EMCC took advantage of three Southwest errors in the top of the frame to score four times against starting pitcher Mikaela Smith and take a 5-2 lead. The Lady Bears responded in the bottom of the seventh with a sacrifice fly by Terrah Nelson followed by consecutive clutch two-out, run-scoring hits from Kayla McNabb and Parker to knot the score at 5-5.
After EMCC couldn't get a runner into scoring position during either of the extra frames, Southwest's Kayla McNabb came up big again by stroking a one-out triple in the bottom of the ninth for her third hit of the contest. Following a walk to Parker, Miranda Magee's bunt single to the right side of the infield brought home the winning run and completed the doubleheader sweep for the Lady Bears (16-22, 9-17).
Out-hit 13-4 in the nightcap by Southwest, half of EMCC's hits came on Megan Cummins' 2-for-4 effort at the plate.
Continuing to battle for a postseason berth in the upcoming MACJC playoffs, head coach Kyndall White's EMCC Lady Lions (17-24, 13-13) will close out their regular-season softball slate with a 2 p.m. Saturday road doubleheader against sixth-ranked Jones County in Ellisville.