Lady Eagles stay alive
GAME PLAN n Meridian Community College fast-pitch softball coach Robert Eakins goes over game strategy with one of the Lady Eagles during a recent game. Photo by Paula Merritt/The Meridian Star
By Richard Dark/The Meridian Star
May 18, 2001
KISSIMMEE, Fla. Like The Doors, the Meridian Community College Lady Eagles have officially broken on through to the other side.
The winning side, that is.
After staring down the barrel at their second straight two-and-out finish at the NJCAA Fastpitch National Championship Tournament, the Lady Eagles bore down and applied direct pressure in the only area they could, defense.
The result was a 1-0 victory over the Seminole (Okla.) State CC Lady Trojans to stay alive in the loser's bracket.
The particular break Eakins was referring to came in the bottom of the fourth inning.
Faith Robinson flew out to left field, before former Meridian High standout Shanna Blanks busted the ball into right center for a stand-up double.
Then, Lady Luck smiled on the Lady Eagles. After Auriel Jenkins flew out to third, it was Amy Adcox's turn to try and manufacture something.
Adcox bunted a dribbler between the mound and the middle of the first base line.
Seminole starter Geralyn Elam dove at the ball but pushed it over the outside first base line with the top of her glove. Adcox, running hard, just made it past her tag and was called safe.
In the confusion, Blanks crossed the plate just ahead of the tag on the bang, bang play to give MCC the final margin.
Adcox (28-4) gave a courageous effort on only two hours rest.
She came back strong, hurling seven shutout innings, only giving up two hits, while walking none.
Perhaps Adcox, who had taken all three previous losses for MCC in this tournament, felt the weight of the monkey being lifted off the most.
If that was the case, she didn't take any personal glory.
They certainly showed that with an improved defensive effort in the closer with swift infield put out after put out. Each tea left five men on base.
MCC collected only four hits off a valiant effort from the Lady Trojans' Elam. She displayed an array of pitches and a mastery of several of them.
She struck out five MCC batters, but the Lady Trojans ended their season at 63-11.
It was the second straight 1-0 setback for Seminole State, who fell in the noon contest to Midland (Tx.) CC.
The fourth inning almost proved to be deadly for MCC in the second game as well. After Rusti Reno flew out, Kristina Socarras reached on an error by LaKenya Wilson.
Then Tristan Collier slapped a single to shallow left to put runners on first and second. But Adcox got Heather Cartwright to fly out to center and Rainey McKee bounced back to the mound to preserve the scoreless tie.
Jenkins, Robinson, Dreka Shumpert and former West Lauderdale standout Robin Holland were the hitters for MCC (40-12).
MCC will face Indian Hills Community College today at noon in the loser's bracket.
Richard Dark is a sports writer for The Meridian Star. You can call him at 693 1551, ext. 3234 or E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.