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MCC gears up for familiar foe

By Staff
GETTING READY MCC's Allison Reader (5) steps up to tag San Jacinto's Melanie Dubois (17) out at third in softball action from earlier in the year. The Lady Eagles of Meridian host Central Alabama in the District O playoffs at the Northeast Softball Complex this weekend. Photo by Carisa McCain/The Meridian Star
By Jeff Byrd / staff writer
May 9, 2002
Friday's opponent for the National Junior College Athletic Association's District O playoff series will need no introduction to the Meridian Community College Lady Eagles. That's because it will be Central Alabama Community College.
The teams have already met five times on the softball diamond this season, with Meridian holding a 3-2 edge in the series. Northeast Park, the site of the series which begins Friday at 1 p.m., won't be that big of an advantage for MCC. The two teams split a pair of games here. A third game, if necessary, would be played on Saturday.
MCC head coach Robert Eakins said his team knows what to expect from Central Alabama (35-24).
The Lady Eagles seem to be hitting their stride at the right time. The club took all three games from Bossier Parrish Community College to claim the Region 23 title. MCC wrapped up the series with a 6-3 win last Saturday in Bossier City, La.
MCC has had problems finding an offense at times and that accounts for a lot of its 33-26 record. Central Alabama also owns a 4-0 win over the Lady Eagles.
MCC is led by standout sophomore shortstop Stephanie Dixon. Dixon was batting .432 with 44 RBIs through the first 58 games. She has 13 doubles, 13 triples and five home runs.
Clarkdale's Morgan Wright is next on the team in batting with a .290 average. She has 11 stolen bases on the year.
Dreka Shumpert is batting .266 with 17 RBIs, five doubles and two triples. Kaylora Bingham has driven in 36 runs off seven doubles and three home runs while Lindsey Stamm, another former Clarkdale standout, has knocked in 24 runs.
In the circle, MCC will go with Anne McLean. The Canadian is 16-6 with a 1.42 earned run average. She has struck out 76 batters in 142.2 innings pitched. Freshman Ashlee Frazier could also see action.
Central Alabama is led by Region 22 MVP Rachel West and Alabama Conference Player of the Year in Amy Hawkins. Hawkins hit three homers to help CACC to five straight wins to claim the Region title. West struck out 12 in beating Wallace-Hanceville.
Other top players for CACC are pitcher Melissa Jones and hitters Amy Smith and Krissy Carter.