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ECCC-EMCC to meet in state tourney opener

By By Marty Stamper / EMG sports assistant
May 2, 2002
Neighbors East Central Community College and East Mississippi Community College will square off in opening-round action in the MACJC State/Region 23 Division II Fast-Pitch Softball Tournament Friday at Westside City Park in Booneville. First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m.
The eight-team double-elimination tournament runs through Sunday. The winner goes to the NJCAA Division II National Championship in Phoenix, Ariz.
East Mississippi's Lady Lions finished second in the MACJC North Division behind tournament host Northeast Mississippi, 22-10. The Lady Lions bring an 18-18 record into the tournament.
Top hitters for East Mississippi are Jessica Vaughn (.528), Kayla Murphy (.489), Denitta Quinn (.455), and Constance Logan (.433). They bat Nos. 1 through 4 in Moore's lineup. Kati Fleming handles the pitching chores.
East Central finished its regular season with a 21-13 mark after starting out 11-1.
ECCC swept the Lady Lions 5-4 and 4-2 on Feb. 19 at Decatur.
Leading ECCC are sophomores Emily Casey and Sommer Averett. Casey is 14-6 on the mound with a 2.67 ERA. She's also batting .301 with 12 doubles and 16 RBIs. Averett is batting .444 with 12 doubles and 14 RBIs. A catcher, Averett has thrown out 75 percent of the runners attempting to steal second base.
Other first-round games have South Division top seed Gulf Coast, 24-8, playing either Itawamba or Mississippi Delta and North Division No. 1 seed Northeast facing Hinds in the 4 p.m. contests. The other 6 p.m. matchup has South No. 2 Pearl River taking on the North No. 3 team, either Itawamba or Delta.
Northeast has a .393 team batting average.
Gulf Coast is the defending Region 23 Division II champion. The Lady Bulldogs are ranked No. 7 in the May 1 NJCAA Division II poll.

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