The No. 14 ranked East Central Community College Lady Warriors compiled a 2-2 record over the two-day Rush Invitational Softball Tournament Feb. 22-23 in Meridian.
The games were played at Northeast Park Softball Complex in Meridian.
East Central is now 6-2 overall on the season.
The Lady Warriors opened the tournament Saturday morning with a 12-2, five-inning win over Parkland College out of Champaign, Ill.
After spotting the Lady Cobras a 2-0 lead in the top of the first, East Central blew the game open with a nine-run bottom of the second. The Lady Warriors added three more runs in the bottom of the fourth to close out the scoring.
Sophomore center fielder Parker Breland (Union) knocked in five runs in the win, including a bases-clearing triple in the big second inning and a two-run triple in the fourth. Sophomore left fielder Olivia Houston (Northwest Rankin) brought home two runs with a single and sophomore catcher Anna McNeer (Canton Academy) collected two RBI on a double, all on the fourth inning. Freshman third baseman Zharia Richardson (Harrison Central) had three hits for East Central.
Sophomore Braelyn Boykin (Mize) got the win in the circle.
The Lady Warriors lost their first game of the season in Saturday's second contest 5-4 to Marion Military Institute (Ala.). East Central led 1-0 heading to the bottom of the fifth when the Lady Tigers sent five runs across the plate on four straight doubles after two outs. East Central pulled to within 5-4 in the top of the sixth with the potential tying run thrown out at the plate to end the inning.
East Central outhit Marion 10-7. Richardson had two hits, including a two-run double. Houston and sophomore shortstop Kaylee Webb (Ruston, La.) both had a single and a triple in the loss.
The Lady Warriors would lose their second straight game to open play on Sunday, letting a three-run lead slip away in the bottom of the seventh in a 10-9 loss to NJCAA Division I Southeastern Illinois.
Southeastern Illinois used a five-run bottom of the second on its way to a 6-2 lead. East Central would chip away at the lead, finally tying the game 6-6 with three runs in the top of the sixth and then scoring three more runs in the top of seventh for a 9-6 lead. However, the Lady Falcons used four singles and two walks to push four runs across the plate in the bottom of the last inning to get the 10-9 win. All four runs were scored after two outs.
Lady Warrior freshman second baseman Landree Amis (Newton County) had a big RBI single in the sixth. Consecutive singles by Breland, Webb, and Amis scored the three East Central runs in the seventh. Freshman right fielder Sidney Rone (Ethel) and sophomore designated hitter Annabell Watkins (Leake Academy) each had doubles in the win.
East Central closed out the tournament with a four-hit shutout from sophomore pitcher Brooklyn King (George County) in a 5-0 win over Bishop State (Ala.). King also struck out six batters. The big inning for the Lady Warriors was a three-run top of the seventh that put the game away. Houston doubled in two runs in that inning. She also drove in the first run of the game with a sacrifice fly in the third.
East Central will be on the road next week for six games. The trip starts with a doubleheader against Coastal Alabama-North in Monroeville, Ala., on Tuesday, Feb. 25. First pitch is Noon. The Lady Warriors swept the Eagles to open the season Feb. 15.
ECCC will then travel to Marion, Ala., Thursday, Feb. 27, to face Marion Military in a doubleheader that begins at 1 p.m.
On Saturday, Feb. 29, the Lady Warriors will play in the Hinds Community College Tournament in Brandon. East Central will play Marion again in a single game at 11 a.m. and then No. 2 ranked LSU-Eunice in a single game at 1 p.m.
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