Thursday, May 5, 2016

ECCC softball team advances to NJCAA Region 23 Tournament

The No. 11 East Central Community College softball team beat No.10 Itawamba Community College 7-6 in the Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges State Tournament Tuesday, May 3, in Ellisville. The game began Saturday, April 30, but was called in the top of the third inning due to rain.The win against the Lady Indians qualified the East Central Lady Diamond Warriors for the National Junior College Athletic Association Region 23 Softball Tournament to be hosted by LSU-Eunice in Eunice, La., Friday through Sunday, May 6-8.

The loss eliminated Itawamba from the MACJC State Tournament.
ECCC advanced to play No. 3 Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College Tuesday evening in another elimination game, but fell to the defending MACJC State Champions 10-1.In the close game against Itawamba, East Central took advantage of five Lady Indian errors.

Before the game was called on Saturday, Itawamba jumped out to an early 4-1 lead after one inning of play. ECCC would fight back to take a 5-4 lead with two runs in the second and then two more in the third on a two-run home run off the bat of Summer Lavender of Canton Academy.

When play resumed Tuesday, East Central added two runs to extend its lead with RBI doubles by Maegen Ellis of Oak Hill Academy and Mahalia Gibson of Oak Grove High  School.  Lavender and Ellis racked up two RBI each in the win.

Lacey Hill, a product of Kilbourne (La.) High School, picked up the win striking out five and walking just one over six innings of work in relief.Gibson blasted a solo-home run in the first inning of the game against Gulf Coast to take the early lead that Lady Diamond Warriors held until the fourth inning.

Gulf Coast scored four runs in the fourth to grab a 4-1 lead and then added six more runs in the fifth inning on three Lady Bulldog home runs.Sophomore Chloe Thaggard of Leake Academy was charged with the loss working for East Central.East Central moves on to the Region 23 tournament with a 43-9 overall record, while Itawamba ends its season 39-10.

Brackets and times for the NJCAA Region 23 Tournament will be released after the conclusion of the MACJC State Championship Wednesday, May 4, featuring No. 5 Jones County Junior College and Gulf Coast.