COLUMBUS – East Mississippi Community College's softball team earned its second doubleheader split of the young season by claiming an 11-5 road win over the Mississippi University for Women during the first game of Friday's twin bill played at the Don Usher Softball Field. The home-standing Owls came back to earn a 6-2 victory over EMCC in the nightcap.
In the opening contest, EMCC sophomore second baseman Hope Thames kicked off a perfect 4-for-4 outing at the plate with a bang by smacking her second home run of the season – a solo shot off MUW starting pitcher Kaitlyn Parrish – to lead off the second inning. The Owls countered in the bottom half of the frame with MacKenzie Denton's two-run homer off EMCC starter Britney Bonney to grab their lone lead of the opener at 2-1.
The visitors then mounted a 6-2 lead by scoring three times in the third and adding two more scores the following inning. Four straight two-out hits in the third featured an RBI double by Mackenzie Dolan and a two-run single by Madelyn Wilkes. The Lady Lions then loaded the bases to begin the fourth and pushed across a pair of runs on Lily Ramsey's groundout and a sacrifice fly by KeraGrace Watts.
After the Owls answered by cutting the deficit to a single run on Denton's two-out RBI single in the fourth and then plating two unearned two-out runs the next inning, EMCC sealed the victory with a five-run seventh. The Lady Lions took advantage of three MUW errors in the frame with Wilkes knocking in her third run of the game with a single and Ramsey capping the inning with a two-out, two-run double.
EMCC distributed a dozen hits among eight starting position players in the opener. Thames' four hits also featured a leadoff double in the fifth. Wilkes' 2-for-4 effort at the plate consisted of run-producing singles in the third and seventh innings.
In the circle for the Lady Lions, Bonney picked up her second complete-game victory of the young season by scattering eight hits over seven innings. The sophomore right-hander struck out four and walked only one batter.
In the nightcap, EMCC out-hit the Owls, 8-4, but left seven runners on base and issued seven walks to MUW hitters.
The home team benefitted from three of those free passes during a two-run second inning, as Alexis Lawrence walked in a run while making her initial collegiate start in the circle.
After the Lady Lions cut the early two-run deficit in half on Dolan's pop fly RBI single in the top of the third, MUW got the run back with an unearned tally in the bottom half of the inning. The Owls then stretched the lead to 5-1 a frame later with run-scoring singles by Denton and Austyn Holden.
The two teams closed out the second game's scoring with matching solo runs in the sixth inning. Dolan capped a 3-for-4 outing with a leadoff double and then later came around to score EMCC's second and final run of the nightcap on an error.
Freshman outfielder Kamryn Moore added a pair of infield hits for the Lady Lions.
Coach Austin McNair's 2-2 EMCC Lady Lions are scheduled to participate in next weekend's (Feb. 21-22) Rush Invitational hosted by Meridian Community College at Northeast Park. East Mississippi is slated to take on Parkland (Ill.) College and Central Alabama CC at 9 a.m. and 1 p.m., respectively, on Friday, followed by Saturday contests against Trinity Valley (Texas) CC and Southeastern Illinois College at 9 and 11 a.m., respectively.
Contact: David Rosinski, EMCC Sports Information Director