EMCC ready for 2002 softball season
By By Austin Bishop/EMG regional sports director
Feb. 19, 2002
SCOOBA East Mississippi Community College head women's fast-pitch softball coach Pam Moore didn't know what to expect as she led her team into last season.
Many of her Lady Lions had never played fast-pitch before, and she had never coached it.
What Moore got was tons of experience and an MACJC North Division title, as her Lady Lions went 16-4 in league play and 17-15 overall.
But winning wasn't new for Moore. In the three previous seasons she had coached the EMCC slow-pitch team, leading the squad to two North Division titles and one runner-up finish.
In her four years of slow-pitch and fast-pitch combined, the Lady Lions have posted an impressive 73-16 division mark and won three titles.
This year Moore is expecting even more success for her squad.
Among those returning sophomores being counted on are Jessica Vaughn of Starkville and Kayla Murphy of New Hope High School.
Vaughn, who is moving from center field to shortstop this season for the Lady Lions, hit .489 last season, while Murphy plays second and hit .451.
Shannon Brown is expected to see time at first base, as will Donna Franklin of Meridian when the basketball season comes to an end and she makes the transition from the court to the diamond.
Freshman Emily Gable is set at third base, while there are some questions in the outfield. Morgan McPhail of West Lauderdale is expected to see time in left field, while Keely Rutledge will play some in center and right.
One of the keys, according to Moore, will be her freshman battery of pitcher Kati Fleming and catcher Alicia Dufour.
Fleming, who starred at New Hope High School, has five effective pitches according to Moore, and has the ability to throw a high percentage of strikes.
While Fleming has experience on the mound, Dufour was a slow-pitch player at Kemper Academy and has had to make some adjustments behind the plate.
The Lady Lions open the 2002 season today in Decatur against East Central Community College with a doubleheader.
The first home games for EMCC will be on Tuesday, Feb. 26 when the Lady Lions host Hinds in a doubleheader. All games on the EMCC schedule are doubleheaders and are scheduled to begin at 1 p.m.
EMCC visits Gulf Coast on Feb. 28 and Jones on March 1.
The Lady Lions also pay a visit to Meridian Community College on March 4 and host the Lady Eagles on March 28.