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East Central's Casey fires no hitter for 8-0 victory

By Staff
Special to the star
May 5, 2002
BOONEVILLEDespite the overcast conditions and chilly temperatures, the 2002 MACJC State/Region XXIII finally got underway on Saturday at Booneville's Westside City Park.  Games were scheduled to begin at 10 a.m., however, after late night thunderstorms; start times were pushed back to noon.
Arch rivals East Mississippi and East Central squared off in a first round match at 4 p.m.  East Central entered the game with a 21-13 record while East Mississippi stood at an even 18-18. 
The game lasted only five innings as East Central breezed to an 8-0 shutout.  Emily Casey picked up the win and a no hitter for the Lady Warriors.
East Central coach Mike Anderson was proud of his team's effort.
ECCC jumped on the boards early with Rhonda Munn, Sommer Averett, Casey, and Anna Moore all nailing consecutive base hits.  Faith Whitfield reached on a fielder's choice, and both Paige Sullivan and Frances McDougle also hit base hits.  Munn knocked in two more runs with her double at the end of the first inning.  After one, East Central took a commanding 7-0 lead. 
East Mississippi shed some light in the second inning as Shannon Brown reached on a walk.  However, Brown was left on base.  In the fifth inning, East Mississippi had a chance to cut the East Central into the lead in order to avoid the eight run rule, but after former West Lauderdale standout Keely Rutledge walked, both Brown and Kati Fleming recorded outs on fielder's choices.
East Central will face defending tournament champion Gulf Coast at 6 p.m. Saturday, while East Mississippi drops to the loser's bracket game against Mississippi Delta at 8 p.m.
In other first round games, Gulf Coast knocked off Itawamba, 15-6; Pearl River beat Mississippi Delta; and tournament host Northeast Mississippi blanked Hinds, 9-0.