East Central, EMCC set for fast-pitch softball debut

By By Austin Bishop/Special To The Star
Feb. 28, 2001
SCOOBA A new era in sports will begin for East Central Community College and East Mississippi Community College today at 1 p.m. when they square off in the first women's fast-pitch softball game for either school.
East Central was set to open its season against Holmes eight day ago, but the doubleheaders set for Feb. 20 and Feb. 22 were postponed by Holmes.
So instead of having four games under their belts by the time they hit the campus of EMCC today, the Lady Warriors will be in the same situation as the Lady Lions playing their first-ever fast-pitch game.
The schools in the MACJC voted to go to fast-pitch last year, with the first games being played this spring.
The only two schools in Region 23, of which the MACJC schools are members, already playing fast-pitch were Bossier Parish (La.) Community College and Meridian Community College. This is MCC's fourth season in fast-pitch.
Most of the schools retained their slow-pitch coaches to coach fast-pitch softball.
EMCC's Pam Moore had built a strong program on the Scooba campus, relying mostly on players from Lauderdale County and Lowndes County two traditionally strong softball areas.
The Lady Lions have four players from New Hope High School this season, two from West Lauderdale, two from Meridian High School, and one each from Northeast Lauderdale and Clarkdale.
Expected to be one of the leaders for EMCC is a sophomore from MHS, Donna Franklin. Juvonne Jones is also from Meridian High, while freshmen Randi Little and Morgan McPhail prepped at West Lauderdale, Austyn Gordon played at Northeast and sophomore Kerrie Gough graduated from Clarkdale.
Pitching and catching holds many keys to fast-pitch softball.
Katherine Hinton and Shannon Brown of New Hope will handle most of the mound work for East Mississippi this season.
The pitching-catching duo of Emily Casey and Sommer Averett both of Union are being looked at as leaders for the East Central squad.
The Lady Warriors are low on numbers, but should have a few more players come out once the basketball season is over.
After today's home doubleheader with East Central, EMCC is scheduled to visit Meridian's Northeast Park to take on MCC at 3 p.m. on Thursday.
League play begins for EMCC with a road trip to Northeast on March 20. The Lady Lions will also be taking part in two tournaments the PRCC Kickoff in Hattiesburg and the NECC Tournament in New Albany.
East Central plays in the Hattiesburg tourney on March 2-3, as well as the Northeast event on March 30-31.
The first home games for the Lady Warriors will be on March 6 when they host the Lady Lions of EMCC for a 1 p.m. doubleheader.

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