Lady Eagles looking good
By By Jeff Byrd/staff writer
Feb. 14, 2002
A year like the one Meridian Community College had in 2001 on the women's fast-pitch diamond might be hard to duplicate in 2002. The Lady Eagles of veteran coach Robert Eakins won the Region 23 and the District O Playoff in route to a seventh place finish at the National Junior College World Series.
Heavy losses off that 41-13 team have forced Eakins to rebuild and regroup this spring.
The Lady Eagles will have to rebuild around their lone returning starter in shortstop Stephanie Dixon from Victoria, British Columbia. Dixon led MCC in batting with a .425 average, 30 RBIs and nine stolen bases in 2001.
She will have to make up for the big bats lost with the departure of LaKenya Wilson who hit .345 and ripped eight home runs and Shanna Blanks who drove in a team high 41 runs in 2001.
He is counting on Kaylora Bingham of Pearl and Sonya Booker of Gautier to step up with the bats.
Robin Holland of West Lauderdale is back and will rotate among three positions including catcher, third base and first. She hit .273 with 12 RBIs in 128 at bats.
Another contributor who returns is second baseman Dreka Shumpert who hit .267 in 146 at bats.
Shumpert was a back-up at second base last year, but she was also our designated player in every game, so she got her at bats," Eakins said.
In the outfield will be either Allison Davis or Morgan Wright in right, Allison Reader in left and Krystal Jenkins in center.
The pitching staff may have the biggest void to fill as Amy Adcox has gone on to West Alabama. Adcox went an outstanding 54-13 in two seasons at MCC.
Stepping up will be freshman Ashlee Frazier of North Pontotoc High School.
Frazier is the daughter of new Meridian High School fast-pitch Coach Susan Frazier.
Anne McLean, also of Victoria, British Columbia, will be next in line.
Our main concern with our pitchers is not their arms but with their legs. They haven't had that much work throwing off the rubber," Eakins said.
Meridian will open its season with three straight home doubleheaders beginning today against Pearl River. On Sunday, Bishop State out of Mobile visits. Pensacola, Fla., comes in on the 21st.