SENATOBIA – The East Mississippi Community College softball team came out on the short end of 5-2 and 5-4 road decisions to Northwest Mississippi during Wednesday's MACJC doubleheader action played at Ranger Field.
After leaving the potential game-tying runs loaded on the bases in the last inning of the opening game, the visiting Lady Lions then let a late 4-2 lead slip away to force an extra inning before falling to the Rangers in the nightcap.
In the opening game, Northwest took an early 2-0 lead in the first inning on extra-base, run-scoring hits by Delta Claire Newman and Madison Crosby off EMCC starting pitcher Madelyn Wilkes.
The two teams traded solo tallies in similar fashion the next frame to make it 3-1 after two innings. In the top half, EMCC's Avery Bouchillon was hit by a pitch, stole second and advanced to third on a throwing error before being driven home on Kelsey English's RBI single. During the home half of the frame, Northwest's Gracey Griggs was hit by a pitch, stole a base and came home on Katie Brownlee's fielder's choice.
Following a pair of scoreless innings, the Rangers extended the lead to 5-1 by plating an unearned run in the fifth and adding Kristen Perrigo's pinch-hit solo homer the following inning.
EMCC made things interesting by loading the bases off Northwest starting pitcher Lacey Coats to begin the seventh inning. After Lilly Burton began the rally with a pinch-hit single, Riley Huckaby and Kathryn Reeves both walked to fill the bases with no outs. English's misfielded grounder to short then brought home Burton. With the bases still jammed with Lady Lion runners, Brownlee replaced Coats in the circle and promptly induced two pop outs and a groundout to secure the 5-2 victory for the Rangers.
Northwest again grabbed an early lead in the nightcap by scoring an unearned run off EMCC starting pitcher Britney Bonney in the bottom of the first inning.
EMCC's big offensive inning of the afternoon came in the third inning of the second contest. Four hits off Northwest starting pitcher Sarah Johnson, including Mackenzie Dolan's RBI triple and a double by Wilkes, gave the visitors a 3-1 lead.
Brownlee's leadoff homer in the sixth for Northwest was answered an inning later by Wilkes' RBI single to make it a 4-2 contest heading to the bottom of the seventh. The Rangers opened the inning by putting runners in scoring position with Maddy Politte's single and a double by Brittni Beard. Newman followed with a game-tying, two-run single, but Bonney settled down to retire the next three batters to send the nightcap into an extra inning.
After Brownlee set down the Lady Lions in order in the top of the eighth, Politte's two-out hit in the home half brought home Taylor Lott, who had doubled, with the winning run and the doubleheader sweep for the Rangers.
Dolan's 3-for-4 outing at the plate keyed EMCC's nine-hit team effort in the nightcap. English and Wilkes added a pair of hits apiece for the visitors.
Coach Austin McNair's EMCC Lady Lions will make their home season debut during a Saturday evening MACJC doubleheader against the Lady Warriors of East Central Community College. First pitch is slated for 5 p.m. at the EMCC Softball Field on the Scooba campus.