Meridian sweeps Lady Lions
By By Jeff Byrd / staff writer
March 29, 2002
SCOOBA The bats are coming around for the Meridian Community College women's softball team. Coach George Brooks' team put together 23 hits in sweeping a double-header from East Mississippi on Thursday.
The 11-3, 9-5 sweep carries the Lady Eagles to five games over .500 for the first time this season. MCC, ranked 19th nationally in NJCAA Division I, is now 22-17 on the season.
East Mississippi, which leads the MJCAA North Division at 6-2, slips to 8-12 on the season.
Brooks said the bats are coming at the right time.
"We're beginning to put the ball in play a little more. When you do that, good things happen," Brooks said.
"Not only are we putting it play, but we're also getting our legs back."
The Lady Eagles spent most of spring break playing several games in Florida against some of the top teams in the south and the midwest. This week, the team has won five of six including four in a row.
"I think we're coming together better as a team. I was happy with my bat today," said MCC shortstop Stephanie Dixon who had six hits in the two games at East.
Meridian CC 9
East Mississippi 5
Dixon was a force in the second game. She went 4-for-4 and drove in a run in all five plate appearances. The five RBIs proved neccessary as East made a late rally to make it interesting.
The Lady Lions trailed 7-0 after five innings. But in the sixth they struck for four runs. A triple by Kayla Murphy was follwed by a double from Jep Vaughn and a two-run homer by Kati Fleming.
Brooks pulled Amanda Stricklin who had thrown five scoreless innings but was tagged for all the runs in the sixth.
"She's one we don't get to pitch much and I wanted to see what she'd do. East just did a great job of hitting her," Brooks said.
Anne McLean came in and got MCC out of the sixth. The Lady Eagles then got two runs back in the seventh off back-to-back triples from Lindsey Stamm and Dixon. Dixon's three-bagger was her third extra base hit of the game.
East got its final run when Vaughn doubled in Murphy to make it 9-5.
Meridian ended with 10 hits to East's nine. Morgan Wright of MCC went 3-for-5 which included a pair of bunt hits. Stamm scored three times.
East coach Pam Moore was hoping her team would strike sooner.
"We can hit the ball against them. We didn't do it in the first game and we waited too late in the second. But we've got Northeast next and that's our biggest game of the year to date," Moore said.
Vaughn paced East with three hits including a pair of doubles. Murphy had two hits including a RBI triple and scored twice. Constance Logan had two hits and Fleming had her home run. Fleming also took the pitching loss in both games.
Meridian CC 11
East Mississippi 3
Meridian ripped and roared for 11 runs off 13 hits to pound the Lady Lions 11-3 in five innings.
Meridian scored five runs in the first off four hits and a costly East error. They added two more in the second on a two-run single by Robin Holland.
East got a run back in the third when Logan tripled in Emily Gable who had singled off MCC starter Amy Frazier.
MCC then added two runs in the fourth and fifth. Layla Brewer and Krystal Jenkins knocked in runs in the fourth. Dreka Shumpert, who had three hits and scored three times, drove in Dixon in the fifth. Holland got her third RBI by scoring Kay Bingham.
The Lady Lions made it 11-3 on a two-run triple by Vaughn that scored Keely Rutledge and Murphy.
Brewer went 2-for-2 with a run and two RBI. Jenkins had two hits as did Dixon. Bingham scored four runs.
Logan had a double and a triple to pace East.
Frazier got the win scattering five hits over five innings. She fanned five including three straight in the first after Logan had led off with a double.