Meridian Star

Sports

April 1, 2014

Miscues cost EMCC in doubleheader loss to Northwest

SCOOBA — The East Mississippi Community College softball team dropped a nine inning contest in Game 1, 7-4, and were unable to complete a late inning rally in Game 2, losing 6-4 in dropping a doubleheader against Northwest Community College Monday.  

EMCC was plagued by miscues in both contests, as the Lady Lions committed six total errors, and the pitching staff walked seven betters.

“We’ve got to go out there and we have to limit the mistakes,” East Mississippi coach Kyndall White said. “The mental side of the game is a huge part, and we’re just not there mentally. The walks killed us, and then the errors after the walks killed us. We had every opportunity to take two games today, we just have to be mentally sound.”

Monday’s doubleheader was originally scheduled for Friday but was pushed back due to weather.

The Lady Lions (19-15, 8-6) fall three games behind North Division leader, Itwamba Community College (11-3), who split a doubleheader against Northeast Community College Monday.

“Our confidence level is obviously a little bit low right now,” EMCC catcher Abby Roberts said. “We didn’t come out like how we should have. We picked it up in the seventh inning (of Game 2) but we should have just started the day like that.”

With Monday’s sweep, Northwest (19-10, 10-4) now claims sole possession of second place in the division.

“To come on the road and sweep a great team like East Mississippi means a lot,” Northwest coach Mike Rowan said. “We play Itawamba on Wednesday for first place.”

In Game 1, the Lady Rangers opened the scoring with two runs in the first.  Alex Barrett tripled to deep right that drove in Andi Barrett. Alex later scored on Kendall Alfordís RBI ground out.

In the bottom of the first, EMCC managed to cut the deficit in half, 2-1. Northwest starter, Roxanna Kimes, was replaced by Kiley Dunagan after allowing a single and two walks and recording just one out. Dunagan allowed a base hit to Abby Roberts that scored Corey Dawkins, but got the next two hitters to strike out and pop out.

“We felt like Roxanna had thrown well all week so we decided to give her a chance,” Rowan said. “Dunagan was ready to go just in case. It didn’t work out for Roxanna, but boy did it work out for Dunagan.”

Dunagan (3-3) tossed 8 2/3 innings in relief, allowing zero earned runs and striking out a career-high 12 batters in earning the win.

“I usually don’t pitch more than five innings,” Dunagan said. “My arm feels fine right, but it will probably hurt tomorrow. I felt good. I had a good day.”

Northwest tacked on a lone run in the fourth. Alex Barrett doubled to left with two out and advanced to third on a throwing error. Kendall Alford lifted a routine fly ball to short center, but EMCC shortstop Kristen Mitchell was unable to make the catch, allowing Barrett to score.

Yet EMCC managed to tie the game in the fifth. Halie Green opened the frame.

The two teams each scored single runs in the eighth.

But Northwest seized control in the ninth with three runs, aided by three EMCC errors, highlighted by Alfordís RBI double to center that scored Alex Barrett.  

In Game 2, Northwest picked up where they left off in Game 1, opening the game with a single run in the first. Andi Barrett slapped a single to right then stole second. Later, she reached third following a pass ball and scampered home on Alford’s sacrifice fly.

The Lady Rangers tacked on a single run in the third with another Alford sacrifice fly and tallied two more in the fourth on Andi Barrett’s two-out single to right.

EMCC scored their first run of the contest in the bottom half of the frame when Mitchell roped a double to left to score Taylor Hackney.

Yet NWCC added what turned out to be two needed insurance runs in the sixth when Alex Barrett smacked a two-run double to right field.  

The Lady Lions would mount a last ditch effort in the seventh, scoring three runs, highlighted by a two-run home run by Abby Roberts, but it would be too little, too late.

Micalah Beall (4-1) earned the win for Northwest.

For EMCC, Corey Dawkins went 4-for-7 including two runs scored and a RBI, and Jade Albritton reached base safely six times with two RBIs.

“We just have to have positive talk,” White said. “When something happens, they go down. We get negative on ourselves instead of being positive and being teammate by picking each other up.

“We have to keep working and keep pounding fundamentals.”

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