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EMCC falls to rival Itawamba in division title quest; Lady Lions prepare for MACJC State Softball Tournament
 April 30, 2013

FULTON – With the MACJC North Division softball championship on the line, the Lady Lions of East Mississippi Community College were blanked twice, 8-0 and 3-0, by home-standing Itawamba Community College Monday afternoon in the regular-season finale for both teams.

Entering the division-deciding doubleheader, which was originally slated for Saturday but postponed twice because of weekend rain throughout the state, with a one-game lead over Itawamba, EMCC needed just one win Monday to claim the school’s second softball division title in three years.  Instead, the host Lady Indians limited the visitors to just six total hits on the day, including a no-hit shutout in game one, to earn their third division crown in the past four seasons.

Beginning the day with a .346 composite team batting average, EMCC’s bats were silenced in the opener by sophomore pitcher Rebecca Sloan, who improved to 14-4 on the year with the five-inning no-hitter due to the eight-run rule.  The Lady Lions’ only real scoring threat in the contest came in the second inning when they stranded two runners in scoring position. 

In the nightcap, the Lady Indians scratched out a solo run in the first and added two more scores in the third to give all of the run support they would need for starter Montana Hawkins, who improved to 12-5.  The Lady Lions were able to scatter six singles over the seven innings – three by freshman Corey Dawkins.  However, the visitors could not advance a runner past second base in game two en route to stranding nine runners on base.

In the circle, Amelia LaVergne (8-7) and Kendra Wilson (5-5) took the complete-game losses for EMCC during the regular-season finale. 

Now set to make their fifth consecutive MACJC State Softball Tournament appearance this week (May 2-3) in Perkinston, first-year head coach Kyndall White’s second-seeded EMCC Lady Lions (24-18, 17-7) will take on No. 3 South seed East Central (30-14, 14-10) during Thursday’s opening-day tournament action.  The quarterfinal-round EMCC-ECCC pairing is set to begin at 4 p.m. at Ross-Smith Field on the campus of Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College.

Thursday’s other quarterfinal-round MACJC State Softball Tournament action will pit No. 2 South seed Jones County (36-6, 19-5) with No. 3 North seed Holmes (19-25, 15-9) at noon, followed by MACJC North champion Itawamba (31-12-1, 18-6) and No. 4 South entry Pearl River (24-20, 13-11) at 2 p.m.  The opening day’s tournament activity will conclude with MACJC South champion Mississippi Gulf Coast (31-8, 20-4) playing host to No. 4 North seed Northeast Mississippi (23-14-1, 15-9) in a scheduled 6 p.m. contest.

Friday’s semifinals are slated for noon and 2 p.m., with the subsequent championship contest on tap for a 5 p.m. start time.

Admission for the two-day event will be $5 for adults per day and $2 for students.  With Mississippi Gulf Coast serving as the host school, all games during this week’s MACJC State Softball Tournament will be video-streamed live at www.mgcccbulldogs.com. Tournament updates will also be available online at www.facebook.com/BulldogLIVE.

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