Monday, May 1, 2017

ECCC Softball Sweeps Northwest to Advance to MACJC State Tournament

The East Central Community College softball team swept Northwest Mississippi Community College in an MACJC best-of-three playoff series Friday, April 28, and Saturday, April 29, on the Decatur campus to advance to next weekend’s state tournament.The Lady Diamond Warriors took game one 13-5 on Friday after putting up seven runs in the third inning. East Central then won a back and forth game two battle on Saturday 17-12.In game one, ECCC jumped out to the early lead in the bottom of the third on a two-run homer off the bat of Neshoba Central alum Kayla Beckham, a three-run home run by Katherine Shell of Brookhaven High School, a sacrifice fly, and a groundout by Madalyn McMahon also of Neshoba Central.

East Central added two more runs in the fourth on a Northwest error and a single by Mackenzie Johnson of Nanih Waiya High School.Northwest closed the deficit to 9-5 in the top of the fifth on a single and a home run.The Lady Warriors responded with four runs in the fifth on a sacrifice, a single by Shell, a hit by pitch, and a pop up to clinch the run-rule five-inning affair.

ECCC collected 15 hits in the victory. McMahon and Johnson had three hits each. Beckham, Shell, and Brittney McCray of Sumrall High School each had two hits. Heritage Academy’s Kaitlyn Oswalt picked up the game one win, striking out four.In game two on Saturday, ECCC played as the visiting team in the back and forth game with the lead changing four times.

The game was tied 9-9 with the Lady Warriors batting in the top of the fifth when McCray tripled, driving in two runs to give East Central the lead it would never surrender.The Lady Warriors jumped out early on a single by Cassie Obman of Caledonia High School to drive in one run in the first inning. ECCC then added to its lead with three more runs in the second on a home run by McMahon.

Northwest took the 6-4 lead in the third putting up six runs. East Central then regained the lead in the top of the fourth, 7-6, on a single by McMahon and a fly out by Obman. The Rangers responded with three runs of their own in the bottom of the fourth on a home run to lead 9-7.

ECCC scored six in the top of the fifth on a double by McMahon, a triple by McCray, and a two-run homer by Obman, and added four more runs in the sixth on a double by Shelby Walters of Northwest Rankin, a double by Obman and a walk. East Central was led offensively by McMahon who went 4-for-5 at the plate, with a single in the first, a home run in the second, another single in the fourth, and a double in the fifth. McCray and Obman added three hits each.

Mackenzie Rousseau, a product of Vanderbilt Catholic High School in Houma, La., picked up the win in the circle. The Lady Diamond Warriors are now 42-6 on the season, while Northwest ends its season 22-20.East Central will now play in the four-team MACJC State Tournament May 5-7 at Jones County Junior College in Ellisville.

Brackets and times for the State Tournament will be announced at a later date.