• 57°
franklin county times

Up close and personal with MCC fast-pitch softball

By Staff
May 16, 2001
Stephanie Dixon
Freshman
Shortstop
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.
Bats: right Throws: right.
Stephanie attended Stelly's Secondary in Victoria.
If one person could come watch you play, who would it be?
Dave Matthews
What does the experience of the National Tournament mean to you?
This is an experience that will happen only once in a lifetime. It gives you a good base, so that you can set higher goals for yourself.
Is there a team in this field you'd most like to beat?
No. I just want the team to play well and to the best of our ability. If that happens, I feel we can accomplish anything.
What would you like to take away from this tournament?
The memories…to play well and enjoy myself and the friendships I have with everyone on this team.
Describe this team in as few words as you can.
Goal-oriented.
The book on Stephanie: The daughter of Mike and Louise Dixon, Stephanie overcame a wrist injury that caused Coach Eakins to move her to shortstop. The move has paid big dividends, as she has developed into a staunch defensive presence at the key infield spot. Quiet but witty, Dixon is described by Eakins as a total package, both offensively and defensively and a combination of former Lady Eagles Michelle Davis and Kiameshia Rogers. Entering the tourney, she leads the team in batting average, hitting at an impressive clip of .429. She has driven in 27 runs and stolen nine bases.
Shanna Blanks
Sophomore
Left Field
Meridian
Bats: switch hitter Throws: right.
Shanna attended Meridian High School.
If one person could come watch you play, who would it be?
My mother.
What does the experience of the National Tournament mean to you?
It's another great opportunity, just like last year.
Is there a team in this field you'd most like to beat?
Some of these teams I haven't heard of, but in my eyes, all of them.
What would you like to take away from this tournament?
The National Championship.
Describe this team in as few words as you can.
Determined.
The book on Shanna: The daughter of Shirley Blanks. She provides comic relief, keeping the humor flowing through her teammates with her unique style. But at the plate Blanks can be deadly for opponents. She ranks third on the team in hitting at .373, including two home runs, 11 triples and six stolen bases. Eakins describes her as having unbelievably raw talent.
Robert Eakins
Head Coach
Meridian
Attended Northeast Lauderdale, MCC and Mississippi State (B.A. Liberal Arts)
If one person could come watch you play, who would it be?
My mother.
What does the experience of the National Tournament mean to you?
It is a reward for hard work and dedication both on and off the field. It also means with a little pride, athleticism and heart you can achieve a goal if you put forth the effort.
Is there a team in this field you'd most like to beat?
It doesn't really matter. I just want the team to play well and win each game we play no matter who the opponent is.
What would you like to take away from this tournament?
A top four finish and the idea that we played hard and represented our school well.
Describe this team in as few words as you can.
Team effort, together we can achieve more. They are focused and believe in themselves.
The book on Coach Eakins: He likes his players to have fun, especially in a setting such as the playland of Central Florida, but he is the type that will never lose sight of why they are here and is always prepared for any contingency. In the offseason, he is also an official for various sports, such as football, basketball and baseball.
Eakins has guided the MCC program for eight years and has compiled a 139-67 record in fast-pitch.
Layla Brewer
Freshman
First Base, DH
Columbus
Bats: right Throws: right
Layla attended Pickens Academy (Ala.)
If one person could come watch you play, who would it be?
My parents.
What does the experience of the National Tournament mean to you?
It's a wonderful experience. I'm very lucky to be a part of this team.
Is there a team in this field you'd most like to beat?
No team in particular. The experience of going is enough for me.
What would you like to take away from this tournament?
A National Championship would be nice, but I'll settle for a couple of wins.
Describe this team in as few words as you can.
Unique.
The book on Layla: The daughter of Larry and Candy Brewer, she has been described by Eakins as having the potential of becoming a true power hitter. She compiled a slew of awards and accolades while playing softball and basketball and being a powerlifter for the Lady Pirates. In 18 games, the reserve has notched a .297 average with a homer.
Compiled by Richard Dar

x