Lady Eagles try to keep up winning ways in 2001
THE GAME FACE n Meridian Community College fast-pitch softball coach Robert Eakins intently watches from the dugout as his 2000 Lady Eagles battle an opponent. The Lady Eagles open the 2001 season Saturday at home. Photo by Paula Merritt/The Meridian Star.
By Austin Bishop/Special To The Star
Feb. 15, 2001
Improvement is a way of life for the Meridian Community College women's fast-pitch softball program.
The Lady Eagles have improved each of their previous seasons, going 40-15 last year and earning a spot in the NJCAA Fast-Pitch National Tournament
If MCC is going to continue that trend, it is going to take a lot of hard work.
Eakins said his Lady Eagles will be well tested by the time they get to the crucial Region 23 games with Bossier Parish, which will determine which team advances to the District O Playoffs against the winner of Region 22, which is made up of the Alabama schools. The District O winner then moves on to the National Tournament in Kissimee, Fla.
MCC begins the season Saturday with a home doubleheader at noon against Gordon College.
The following week MCC plays host to the Rush Classic which features Blinn (Texas) College, Chipola (Fla.) Junior College, Motlow (Tenn.) State, Okaloosa-Walton (Fla.) Community College, San Jacinto (Texas) Junior College and Young Harris (Ga.) College.
MCC also hosts such teams as Pensacola (Fla.) Junior College, Georgia Perimeter and Central Alabama during the regular season.
Eakins has one of the top pitchers in the South returning to lead his Lady Eagles, and is also pleased with the depth in the outfield.
The biggest question mark for MCC will be the infield, where such standouts as Robbie Roberson, Kiamesha Rogers and Robyn Killebrew have graduated.
Sophomore Amy Adcox will anchor the pitching staff. The big right-hander went 25-6 last season and earned six saves to go with an ERA of 1.45 and 156 strikeouts.
Joining her on the mound will be sophomore Ryan Reid, a transfer from Chattanooga (Tenn.) State Community College.
Anchoring the outfield will be sophomores Shanna Blanks and Lakenya Wilson.
Blanks, a former Meridian High School standout, hit .300 last year with three homers, 11 RBIs and six stolen bases. Wilson hit .276 and scored 21 runs.
Also seeing time in the outfield will be Ashleigh Hicks, Dreka Shumpert and Jackie Avant of Newton County High School.
Handling the catching chores will be Stephanie Dixon of Victoria, British Columbia, Hicks and Robin Holland of West Lauderdale.
Playing first base will be Adcox, Reid and Layla Brewer, while Nicole Jones, Shumpert and Avant are battling for time at second base.
Dixon and Robinson will both see time at shortstop, while Robinson will also play third. Holland and Avant will also get work in at third base.
Eakins said that as long as injuries don't become a problem, he doesn't have a problem with a 13-person roster.