Meridian Star

Sports

March 6, 2014

ECCC bats come alive in 12-3, 13-0 wins against MCC

MERIDIAN — Hayley Stephens reached base safely six times and drove in eight runs, including two home runs in Game 2, to lead East Central Community College to a doubleheader sweep over Meridian Community College, 12-3 and 13-0, Wednesday at Tommy McDonald Field.

In the first game, a three-run fifth inning, powered by Stephens’ three-run double, propelled the Lady Warriors (16-4, 2-2) to victory. Stepehens added two more RBI’s in the sixth with a sharp single up the middle that plated Ty Buckley and Lindsey Beard.

“(In previous games), I’ve been swinging too hard and trying to do too much,” Stephens said. “(Today), I just was staying through the ball more.”

East Central head coach Kristin Chaney was ejected in the fourth inning after relief pitcher Makayla Kelly was penalized a ball for “excessive warm-up pitches.” The ejection ignited a spark into the Lady Warriors, who were trailing 3-2.

“(Chaney) definitely got us pumped up,” Stephens said. “She got us ready to fight.”

Meridian (0-13, 0-4) stranded eight runners, including leaving the bases loaded in the third.

 The Lady Eagles had jumped out to a 3-2 advantage with a run in the first inning and two in the fourth.

“Our struggles this season has been finishing,” Meridian coach Faith Robinson said. “Today, we just lost it. We let a couple of errors start a train wreck.

“We have to keep fighting and learn how to finish ball games.”

In the first, consecutive walks to Miranda Crenshaw and Chelsea Moore gave Meridian the scoring opportunity, and Paige Gipson capitalized with a double to right that plated Crenshaw.

In the the fourth, Montana Holyfield scored on Casy Bolton’s single, and Paige Bowser came home on Crenshaw’s bases-loaded walk.

In Game 2, the Lady Warriors smashed three home runs, including a three-run shot by Beard en route to their 13-0 win.

The 30-minute intermission between games did little to cool down the hot swinging bats of East Central, as the Lady Warriors scored four runs in the opening frame.

Buckley, Beard and Karoline Holsonback each had run-scoring base-hits. Stephens came around to score following a Meridian fielding error in the inning.

“We just told them not to relax and not to let up,” East Central assistant coach Courtney Nunn said.

EC addd to their total in the second after Buckley smacked a double down the left field line that scored Mallory Turner and Morgan Parker. Buckley eventually came around to score on Holsonback’s sacrifice-fly.

Following Stephens’ two-run homer in the fourth, the Lady Warriors tacked on four more runs in the fifth when Beard smashed her three-run homer over the left-center wall. Two pitches later, Stephens deposited her second homer over the same fence.

“I was just seeing (the ball) well,” Stephens said.

East Central hosts Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College Friday, while Meridian squares off against Pearl River Community College.

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