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Showdown awaits Lady Eagles

By By Marty Stamper/EMG sports assistant
May 11, 2002
Meridian Community College and Central Alabama Community College swapped beatings in the first day of the District O best-of-three fast-pitch softball series at Northeast Park Friday afternoon.
Central Alabama posted a 6-0 win in the opener with Meridian taking an 11-2 victory in the second contest.
The decisive third game is set for noon today at Northeast Park. MCC enters the game 34-27, while Central Alabama will come in 36-25.
Central Alabama outhit MCC eight to four in the opener, but the Lady Eagles had a 13 to four hit advantage in the second contest as they evened the series at one win apiece.
For the year, the teams have met seven times with MCC holding a 4-3 advantage.
After being blanked in the opener, MCC jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning in the second game. Dreka Shumpert singled and Stephanie Dixon reached on an error. Kaylora Bingham drove in Shumpert with a single and Dixon came home on a ground out by Lindsey Stamm.
MCC picked up three more runs in the top of the second. Sonya Booker and Allison Reader had singles with Morgan Wright reaching on an error and Shumpert adding a sacrifice fly.
Bingham led off the top of the third with a towering homer to left field for a 6-0 lead.
MCC put the game away with five runs in the fourth. Reader and Anne McLean started the inning with back-to-back doubles. Shumpert and Bingham had RBI-singles with Booker adding a two-run single.
McLean (22-10) was touched for two runs in the bottom of the fourth after retiring the first nine batters she faced. Amy Hawkins singled and came home on a double by Rachel West. West scored on an error by Dixon at shortstop.
McLean got the win, pitching all 12 innings for the Lady Eagles in the doubleheader.
Bingham went 3-for-3 with three RBIs to lead MCC. Shumpert and Booker were both 2-for-3 with two RBIs. Reader also went 2-for-3.
Game 1
Central Ala. 6
Meridian 0
McLean was zipping along with a no-hitter and had two outs in the top of the fifth when the Lady Trojans erupted for five of their six runs.
Jill Kerley and Krissy Carter reached on singles and a walk to Hawkins loaded the bases. West then ripped a three-run double to left center with Hawkins barely crossing the plate ahead of a tag by MCC catcher Robin Holland.
West then scored on a throwing error by Holland on a pickoff at third base for a 4-0 lead. The Lady Trojans added another run in the inning as Kattie O'Neal doubled to left center and scored on a single by Leah Welcher.
Central got its final run in the top of the seventh as Carter opened the frame with a double and came home on a ground out by O'Neil.
Carter went 2-for-3 for Central Alabama, while Shumpert went 2-for-3 for the Lady Eagles.
Melissa Jones (20-17) tossed a complete game shutout, striking out one and not allowing a walk. Only one MCC batter reached third base with one more making it to second base.