Monday, April 30, 2018

No. 11 ECCC Softball Advances to State Tournament With Sweep of Hinds

ECCC shortstop Kayla Beckham 
The No. 11 ranked East Central Community College Lady Warriors scored six runs in the top of the seventh inning to overcome a 4-0 deficit and grab a game two win and a sweep over the Hinds Community College Lady Eagles in the first round of the MACJC state playoffs.

East Central won the opener 6-2 on Friday, April 27, behind the 10-strikeout performance of Kaitlyn Oswalt and the team-leading eighth home run of the season off the bat of Madalyn McMahon. The Lady Warriors trailed 4-0 heading to their last at bat in game two on Saturday, April 28, but pushed six runs across the plate for a 6-5 win and a sweep of the best two-of-three series played at the Softball Park in Decatur.

East Central entered the playoffs as the No. 3 seed, while Hinds was the No. 6 seed. The East Central Lady Warriors are now 34-10 on the season, while the Hinds Lady Eagles end their season with a 25-20 record.

East Central now advances to the four-team, double elimination MACJC State Tournament which begins Friday, May 4, at Itawamba Community College in Fulton. Tournament pairings and game times will be released on April 30.

In the opening game on Friday, the Lady Warriors scored a run in the second, two in the third, and then added three insurance runs in the fifth. The big blow came on a long two-run home run from McMahon, who played at Neshoba Central. Cassie Obman out of Caledonia and a pair of Nanih Waiya products Mackenzie Johnson and Marlee Parkes all had RBI singles in the three-run fifth. Hinds managed a couple of runs in the top of the seventh before Oswalt closed out the game with her 10th strikeout. Obman had three of the Lady Warriors’ eight hits in game one. Oswalt, who prepped at Heritage Academy (Columbus), got the win in the circle in game one. She allowed no hits and only one base runner through the first
Lady Warrior Madalyn McMahon
four innings.

The Lady Warriors managed only three hits in game two on Saturday heading to the top of the seventh. Hinds, the home team for game two, held a 4-0 lead thanks to four runs in the bottom of the third inning. In the top half of the seventh, Johnson and Katherine Shell of Brookhaven put together back-to-back singles with one out. With two outs, Shelby Walters of Northwest Rankin was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Another hit batter and two walks brought in three runs to make the score 4-3. Eva Scott, who prepped at Centennial High School in Burleson, Texas, then stepped to the plate and cleared the bases with a double to the left field wall to give the Lady Warriors the 6-4 lead. Hinds added another run in the bottom of the inning for the final 6-5 score.
Mackenzie Rousseau out of Vanderbilt Catholic (Houma, La.) picked up the win in the circle, with relief help from Oswalt in the seventh.